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Heaven (I) (2002)
9/10
Easily Misunderstood
14 June 2003
I found this film complicated as it immediately challenges one's desire to sympathize with the main characters. One is a bomber, and the other a police officer who falls in love with her, so only those capable of dealing with complexity will enjoy this film on a higher level. Many seem to have found it tedious, that's too bad. It reminds me of people's opinions of La Dulce Vita, most viewers couldn't devote that much attention to something so drawn out and complicated, and as such dismiss it as being mediocre. But like many things in life, like poetry or literature, comprehension takes effort, attention, and patience. From what I understand this will be another trilogy in the vein of Krzysztof Kieslowski focusing on Dante's Divine Comedy. Heaven will be the first installment which should also include, of course, Inferno and Purgatory.

This film speaks to the redeeming power of love, and how it can allow forgiveness for even the most criminal of acts. Tykwer successfully brings the audience from condemnation to forgiveness as two people fall in love. It is not surprising such thoughtfulness might limit the appeal of a film.

If you like movies with a gun on the cover, do not see this one. If you like movies that are thoughtful, and will reward a deeper look into their workings and meanings this can be a very rewarding film. If you liked, for instance, The Seventh Seal, Dulce Vita, 8 1/2 or the Blue/White/Red trilogy this film will appeal to you. I thought it was the best film I saw last year. 9/10.
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La Dolce Vita (1960)
10/10
Tolerance of Taste
15 February 2001
To appreciate this film you need to appreciate film. I'm saddened that so many have commented negatively on it and cast dispersions upon those who enjoyed it. It is not Titanic, or Armageddon. It is a long film that attempts to show more than a hackneyed plot about some simple people. It is a beautiful exploration about life that does not preach or try to tell you what to think. I understand why many are frustrated with it. It seems to go nowhere at times, but thats the point. And most importantly the scenery on this trip to nowhere is beautiful.

So, if you are the type that does not like to watch films that are art, do not watch this. Watch Coyote Ugly. It will entertain you. Other films to avoid: Last Year at Marienbad, The Seventh Seal, The 400 Blows, etc. Go see something with a gun on the cover instead.

For those who like a challenge rather than simple escapism, this is a film that engages you.

Different films for different people. People seem very threatened when they don't like a film that is widely regarded as a classic. The reason is simple, it's not your kind of film. But don't assume its a film for no one. Makes sense right?
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Malcolm X (1992)
10/10
Spike Lee at his best.
3 October 2000
A movie like this demonstrates the extraordinary talent of Spike Lee. Amazing on all levels. The direction, cinematography, acting, script, etc could not be improved upon.

The story is compelling as well, although naturally it fits more to Malcom X's interpretation of historical events. Other biographies of X have suggested some inaccuracies in his perception of history, but that is only natural. Anyway, it demonstrates that Malcom X was a hero, worthy of universal praise. Before and after his reform he spoke the truth. I prefer the pre-Mecca Malcom more than post (even though I'm white), and this movie concentrates on that era of his life as well as his early childhood and days as a criminal. Excellent history and biography, as well as understanding of the workings of the man by Spike.
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