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Big Miracle (2012)
Well Executed Story For Both Adults and Kids
Yes, there were simplistic clichés, but for a PG-rated movie and the confines therein, Big Miracle is about as good as it can get. The Inupiat people, the reporters, the extraction industry - all sides were treated with a degree of nuance. The take-away message was really important too - that you can accomplish things with people you don't agree with or even like. And we really enjoyed the efforts made to set the film properly in its late 80s period.
I disagree with the other reviews that found the special effects lacking. I don't think they detracted from the story, which in the end was quite compelling.
Faces of Death IV (1990)
I thought this movie might be a ridiculous guilty shocking pleasure in the mold of Mondo Cane. I was wrong.
The footage is almost entirely fake. But it is not fake in a camp cheesy kind of way that would be redeeming, it is just fake in an annoying, utterly transparent way. A few scenes appear to be real newsreel stock footage, but these are a small portion of the total. Most are the kind of quality that would be cooked up by several high school students with red paint and a camera. Plus, there is gratuitous right wing propaganda worked into the narration for no apparent reason.
Don't waste your time.
Juarez, Mexico (2005)
Second worst movie I have ever seen
While going through the excruciating process of watching Juarez, I kept trying to figure out if it was supposed to be making fun of something and that I wasn't getting the joke. Because otherwise, I just don't understand how something could be so bad. The acting is awful. The camera work is awful. The fight scenes are ridiculous - do gangs of huge thugs really come at a skinny kid one at a time and give up crying on the floor after they get hit twice? There are absolutely no exterior or interior shots to indicate that one is in Mexico rather than in their neighborhood of any-town USA. And these poor maquiladora women are all 6 foot tall, hot, and dressed to the nines, and, along with all of the the thugs and criminals of Juarez, they speak unaccented English?