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9/10
Remarkable and refreshing
17 November 2019
Netflix has broken the monopoly of Hollywood style and has demonstrated again and again, with various foreign productions, that there are other standards and traditions of movie making. In recent days I have watched Polish, Spanish, British, French and Russian films, each with its own style and characteristics. This one is Japanese with the overtones and subtleties one might expect of that school of filmmaking. It's an odd murder mystery/love story, with compelling cinematography, delicately effective lighting and a constant undercurrent of subtle tension. Dialogue is in both Japanese and English. There are intriguing shots of Tokyo, night and day. This is a very beautiful example of Asian art and culture that may be misunderstood and rejected by those with provincial tastes.
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9/10
Interesting and enjoyable
9 November 2019
I was astounded to discover that this movie was done in 1988. I assumed that it was a new release. (But then I had forgotten that Martin Landau had died in 2017.) From a perspective of the eighties, it certainly was far ahead of its time in style and technique. It's fresh, funny and frank! Tucker, played by Jeff Bridges, tends to get on your nerves with his obsessive energy and optimism. Maybe Tucker was like that. But at times you wish he would just get out of the scene. Nevertheless it's a fascinating and well done glimpse of a brief period of automotive history. And the old cars which turn up all through the film,, not just the Tuckers, are a treat for the eyes.
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Spitfire (III) (2018)
10/10
Spectacular documentary
4 November 2019
Never have I seen so many "tens" for a movie. I have added one more. This is a spectacularly well done documentary, blending historic footage with superb and dramatic colour shots of surviving Spitfires. (There are still about 50.) It covers the history of this historic warplane from its conception in the thirties to its phasing out and replacement by jets. There are meaningful, thoughtful clips of the few Spitfire pilots still alive. I am a war buff and have watched many documentaries about both world wars. This may be the very best of them all!
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The Laundromat (I) (2019)
9/10
A Cynic's Delight
22 October 2019
If, like me, you are a cynic, you will love this work. It is odd, unconventional, unpredictable, funny, serious, creative and very cynical. Some of the dramatic and cinematographic effects are brilliantly unique and effective. And, of course, if Meryl Streep is in it, you just know it will be worth watching. I'm still not sure why they called it "The Laundromat" --- something about "laundering" money? --- no matter --- it's a unique and eminently watchable film.
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Singularity (I) (2017)
7/10
A Decent Exception
17 October 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It is a happy exception to the fact that there is no such thing as a good sci-fi movie. Sure, it's a far out story --- a computer takes over the world --- but many sci-fi classics (books, not movies) have spun even wilder ideas. I can see why the story line might daunt people who don't read science-fiction (my wife, for example, reviled it). But for those of us who do, it was quite in line. There were no gross fallacies or questionable science. Not a classic like 2001. But still a decent evening for anybody who enjoys Bradbury, Asimov and Clarke.
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Hotel Pacific (1975)
4/10
Interesting but boring
10 October 2019
This was a first for me. I never had seen a Polish film. It is well done with some nice settings and excellent cinematography. But it grinds on and on and on... There is predictable sex and unseeimngly harsh discipline as inexperienced waiters serve stereotyped upper class diners. (Interesting this was done during the "workers paradise" phase of Poland's turbulent history. ) Nor is it clear in which era the story is set. Judging from the women's fashion, it seems to be somewhere between 1925 and 1935. Worth a look if you're interested in what a Polish movie looks like. But a challenging or entertaining evening it ain't!
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6/10
OK to a point
5 October 2019
Interesting film, shot almost entirely inside a huge field of tall grass. But it does go on and on and on. Surely the victims could have found someway to get above the grass to find their direction. Or get their bearings from the sun. Or even start a fire somehow. I assume most of it was done in studio because I know of no area within 200 kilometres of Toronto that looks anything like that.
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8/10
Five stars (as in quints) Actually eight...
4 September 2019
We stumbled onto this masterpiece while surfing You Tube. It is a tremendously well done film. I'm surprised that it has not been revived anywhere on television or even in theatres. It dates from 1994,an era before the CBC degenerated into Dragon's Den and Schitts' Creek. Why has CBC not revived it? It's effectively shot on location. There is an awesome parade of vintage cars and trucks. I recognized a lot of the props and gadgets.(The quints were born a month after I was.) Unlike today's Murdoch Mysteries which has an abysmal, devil-may-care habit of using props, people and even slang from the wrong period, the producers here seem to have everything right, from neckties to stoves. Production values are high and I presume the story hews close to the facts.
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5/10
Derpressing
19 August 2019
I agree with all the criticisms made in the user reviews. But my main problem with this film was the darkness of it. A black cloud seemed to form over my TV set. War movies are darkoften grim. But the whole mood of this one was a dark downer.
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Mission of Honor (II) (2018)
10/10
Remarkable film
2 August 2019
Judging from the comments, people either loved this movie or hated it. I've never seen such a disparity of ratings, lots of tens and lots of ones and twos with little in between. I gave it a ten. Superb work. The special effects are stunning. The settings are excellent. The photography and editing are superb. It's certainly in my top five war movies!
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10/10
Exceptional!
10 June 2019
This is a powerful and beautifully done film. It is shot in black and white which somehow enhances the whole thing. It would have had far less impact had it been done in colour. The camera work is wonderfully creative, reminiscent of the classic still images of Ansel Adams or Edward Weston who were masters of black and white. There is a lot of graphic lesbian sex, maybe too much, but all of it is tasteful and enhances the long, sad story of the film (and I am someone who normally dislikes graphic "humping scenes" hetero or homo.) This film is a triumph of cinematic art!
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1/10
Can you somehow insert a -1 rating???
2 June 2019
This ghastly, gory, grotesque film is a perfect example of the accelerating decline of the United States. (Interesting that I watched it the same day 11 people were shot and killed in Virginia Beach VA.) Blatant multiple murders, bodies and blood strewn stage right and stage left, I don't think there was one closed-caption display that didn't contain the F-word or one of its incestuous variations. Lots of sex, including an on camera blow job. Police are portrayed as corrupt and violent. New York becomes a vast and dangerous hell hole. I was revolted by the whole thing and stayed with it only to see how bad it would get would get. The film It met my worst expectations. This is not realism, or graphic imagery or even an "adult" film. It is low class violence, porn and profanity which has nothing good to say about anybody or any place
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7/10
Strange... very strange...
31 May 2019
This is one of the oddest films I've ever seen. Is it about music? Is it a lesbian romance? A horror picture? All of the above. And then some! If you don't know ahead of time, I'd challenge anybody to guess where the story line goes next. It takes many major twists and turns. They also did a fine job of setting much of the action in Shanghai and China while never actually leaving British Columbia. Just two objections.... repetitive and needless use of the "f-word" mostly by female cast members and some excessively graphic, bloody, unexplained and violent injuries. But it certainly is intriguing if somewhat strange and far fetched.
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6/10
Toronto NY
10 May 2019
Not a bad movie..,.clever plot...well acted...well produced. But again the Canadian inferiority complex screams from the screen. The film was shot mostly in Toronto. I recognized many areas. But it is set in New York City. Why do Canadian filmmakers do this time and time again. If American filmmakers want to shoot in Canada and disguise Toronto as New York, fine. But this was a Canadian produced and Canadian tax supported production. So why wasn't it set in Toronto? Can you imagine Australia doing this? Or India? Or any other country? It is craven and embarrassing. Films should be a window on the country that produces them. What is the point of a Canadian film industry if it does not showcase Canada?
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Air Strike (2018)
8/10
Overdone but well done
27 April 2019
I was amazed at the almost universal bad reviews. Admittedly this is not a great war movie, at least by western standards. But the effects are superb (if indeed overdone.) The bombing is scary and the aerial combat is hectic. (This must have been computer generated. There is no way you could put that many planes in the air, zooming, diving, shooting, bombing, burning and crashing. The aerial combat scenes are tense and exciting. This was essentially a Chinese movie. Some of the dialogue and scenes reflect that. They would be Hollywood no-no's.. But it just makes the film that much more interesting. Not a great war movie, perhaps. Yet an impressive, interesting and very different piece of cinema.
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9/10
Like a fine oil painting
2 April 2019
A fine oil painting takes time. But it has unmatched depth, texture and atmosphere. Its brush strokes are creative and unique. This film is to cinema what classic oils are to art, It moves very slowly. It evokes its own rich and dark mood on a unique cinematic canvas. It is staged and photographed magnificently and performed with depth and power. Not the sort of thing for people who like car chases and gunfire. But a rare treat for anyone who savours cinematic artistry
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Life (I) (2017)
9/10
Superb with one huge fault
28 March 2019
This was an absolute knock-out sci-fi flick with incredibly great effects. I'm still very curious how they simulated weightlessness so very effectively (and disappointed this was not revealed on IMDB. ) Sure, the plot is far fetched. But this is science-fantasy fergawdsakes. What turned me off and stopped me from rating it a 10 is the constant, needless profanity. The F-word bounces around as much as it does in a gangster movie. It serves no purpose. It ignores the fact that this film will have strong appeal for youngsters and also that highly trained scientists would be very unlikely to use crude street language and certainly not with the frequency they do in the movie. But other than that, this is an edge of your seat, nail-biting, spectacular work.
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Movie 43 (2013)
1/10
Appalling!!!
14 March 2019
Disgusting, vulgar, crude, tasteless, sick, depraved,.... A film that has all the charm of a public urinal and the artistic merit of a gob of vomit. Why would even the sickest minds in Hollywood conceive of such a movie? Or work on it? Or perform in it? Or show it? There are some big names such as Kate Winslett whom I used to regard as a classy lady. No more! I feel embarrassed having watched it (or most of it) and almost felt the need to clean the filth off my TV screen after I did. I have no objection to some profanity or occasional graphic sex. But this is an interminable and pointless parade of filth and vulgarity. If the ancient Romans had had movies, this is the sort of thing they would have produced during the amoral fall of their decadent empire. What does that say about the American empire? If you have to choose between watching this disgusting movie or spending an hour reading the graffiti in a filthy public toilet, choose the toilet!
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Polar (I) (2019)
5/10
Good/Bad
20 February 2019
This is a superbly produced film but an irresponsibly violent one. Gunshots. Knives. Blood. Sex that leaves nothing to the imagination. Usually I just turn it off when I stumble into something like this. But I wanted to see just how far it would go. Too far! Equally disturbing is the number of people here on IMDB who have praised it and given it a high rating or tried to justify it as a "comic book on film." My 5 is more than it deserves. Yet the production values, the far out characters and the effects are excellent. Hollywood continues to glorify extreme violence while lamenting almost daily mass shootings. Gore and gunfire are okay in a war movie or even in small doses in crime or horror films. But this is a non stop bloodbath from start to finish.
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4/10
Makes the NHL look like a park
16 November 2018
If you are the sort of person who goes to a hockey game to watch the fights rather than the game, this is your movie. Fists fly. Knives flash. Guns bark. There is absurd, non stop, pointless fighting throughout. Do movies like this reflect our violent society or create it? I have given it an otherwise undeserved 4 because of some excellent special effects at the end and some effective use of exotic locations. But other than that, it has all the good taste and artistic appeal of a bar brawl.
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Darkest Hour (2017)
7/10
A well done piece of fiction
30 October 2018
When history provides drama, suspense and spectacle in abundancer, why does Hollywood try to improve on it? Gary Oldman is superb as Churchill. The settings and the atmosphere are first rate. The cinematography is rich and compelling. They have done a superb job of fictionalizing history!. But why? The scene in the Underground was compelling. But it never happened. Edward R.Murrow wrote some of the best words of the millions written on World War II. Yet his memorable line about Churchill mobilizing the English language is attributed to Lord Halifax. King George had a speech impediment yet there is no hint of it in this movie. There are many other goofs and gaffes. You can excuse the occasional wrong auto model year or minor geographic discrepancy. You can even put a certain spin on history. But a supposedly serious movie like this should not stray from the basic facts.
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Inferno (I) (2016)
9/10
Stupendously over the top!
17 October 2018
Amazed by the overwhelming number of bad reviews. This was a great film. The only thing missing was James Bond. Lots of action. Neat gadgets. Exotic locations. Hateful villains, Surprise plot twists. Interesting snips of history. Superb staging and photography. It's a far fetched fantasy. Tom Hanks and friends save the world. But what better way to spend a dreary fall evening?
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9/10
Delightful British nonsense
11 October 2018
If you dislike or don't understand British humour, you'll rate this a 1. But if you accept the fact that the Brits are all a bit mad --- I mean,who else could have dreamt up Monty Python? --- you will enjoy it immensely: the totally absurd story, the British prototypes, the brilliantly rich and round use of the English language. Having said that, there was excessive and unnecessary use of the"'f word" If you don't understand British humour, there is no way to explain it.But if you do, you'll love this film and consider it a masterpiece of the genre. l
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3/10
Typical Moore
3 October 2018
Despite being no fan of Michael Moore --- he is to journalism as Bugs Bunny is to serious drama --- I took in his new film, Fahrenheit 11/9.

At least the title...a clever play on his earlier film Fahrenheit 9/11...was an interesting turn.

But the rest of it is a tawdry sequence of news clips taken out of context and interviews with loaded questions. And there was the now standard stunt cliche as Moore, in his usual slob attire, turns up at the Michigan state capitol to make a citizen's arrest of the governor.

The baseball cap is getting a little tired Mikey and you really should do something about the wrinkles and the weight you've added since your last film.

11/9 loses its way in the story of Flint Michigan's tainted water and West Virginia's teachers' strike. Nor is it strictly a Trump hatchet job. Moore makes a pretty messy attack on Barack Obama as well.

Moore strains credulity with his long comparison of Hitler and Trump and of the Reichstag fire and 9/11. Lip synching Trump's voice in an image of Hitler giving a speech --- and it was not very well done --- was a bit much even for Moore.

I'm no fan of Trump but I also am no fan of sleazy journalism and Moore excels at that.
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The Angel (2018)
8/10
Gritty spy story
20 September 2018
This film has all the ingredients of a good cloak and dagger movie yet does not overdo the violence or the sex. James Bond it ain't but there still is plenty of suspense and treachery. It's based on a true event prior to the war between Israel and Egypt and the understated style actually adds to the tension. Nor does it follow the standard portrayal of Israel as the perfect democracy that can do no wrong isolated and surrounded by scheming, evil Arab dictatorships. There are lots of bad guys on both sides. It's a well done espionage nail biter.
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