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8/10
I vote for John
6 April 2007
I always liked actress Emma Thompson - and hated John Travolta. As soon as I discovered that Emma played in Primary Colors and that the movies was loosely based on the Clintons I wanted to watch it. The Clintons are a fascinating couple and I like their political ideas. The movie is brilliant! As soon as John Travolta appears one recognises Bill Clinton, in behaviour, hairstyle, way of talking. And I wondered why I ever hated Travolta. Would he, as Jack Stanton, stand for any office, I would give my vote to him! He does questionable things but has a golden heart and is, in that way, a double of Bill Clinton. Watching Emma as Susan (Hillary) I was surprised how a British actress could act and talk as an American. I got more sympathy for her (Hillary's) position than ever before. And of course Kathy Bates is gorgeous.
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8/10
Am I guilty too?
25 September 2006
While watching this movie on DVD I was hoping that the story was not true. Imagine such things happening in Africa just because 'our' western companies sacrifice everything to their profits. It came as a relief that the movie was based on a novel. Nevertheless I realized that in poor Africa life in a food camp and raids by bandits are probably 'common' events.

A novel --- but after the relief I thought stories like these could be true. Look how western governments don't count for lives when their financial and economical interests are at risk. It made me think about our way of life. I wonder, am I also guilty of what's happening there? I assume that Tessa (Rachel Weisz) has a point in her disapproval of the war-waging British government in the beginning of the film.

Nevertheless, this is also a brilliant movie with convincing performances by Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. The views of the African landscape are stunning and I also fear that the shots of the slums in Nairobi are true to life. In spite of the sad ending a feeling remained that justice might be done.
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Madame Bovary (2000 TV Movie)
6/10
The book is much better
5 August 2006
The book - I read it one day before I watched the film on DVD - is (as often) much better. It sounds like a cliché but it's a fact. It's difficult to understand the motives of Madame Bovary and one simply needs hundreds of pages to describe what's going on in her mind.

Of course the movie omits many details of the original story. Yet the actors who perform the personages of Bovary, Homais, Lheureux and many minor roles are cast well. However, Frances O'Connor is not a credible Madame Bovary. I think it is difficult to find a actress for this complicated character. I could not help imagining that Emma Thompson might have been a much more sympathetic and understandable Emma Bovary.

Yet I think the BBC deserves a 7 out of 10 for this attempt to represent Flaubert's masterpiece.
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Hotel Rwanda (2004)
10/10
Ashamed
2 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Recently I bought this movie on DVD. It appeared to be a must have, due to the fact so many people appreciate it. However, I waited for two months before I watched it. I foresaw this would be a touching movie and I think one should be in the mood for such an experience. I was right. This was one of the most touching and convincing movies I ever watched. I was glad I had it on DVD. Sometimes I could not continue and had to pause the DVD, e.g. when Paul leaves the van and sees all those bodies on the road. As a white man living in Europe owning everything that I want, this movie made me feel ashamed. Why did not we really notice what was happening in Africa then? How do we dare to complain about things bothering us? Why did not we intervene? I am afraid the answer is that there's no oil in Rwanda.
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Napoléon (2002)
7/10
Interesting and accurate, but....
16 April 2006
All my life I was fascinated by the Emperor of the French so I was glad to find this movie on DVD. As far as I know this is a pretty accurate description of the life and - particularly - the wars of Napoléon. I liked most of the actors and certainly Christian Clavier. However, three things could have been done better. To begin with there are too many battle scenes while it's impossible to keep overview; instead I would have preferred more attention for the political developments in the Napoleontic era. Then I don't understand why the movie is in the English language; Napoléon and his friends spoke French! My main objection is that it's difficult to identify with the main characters. Why does Napoléon do what he does, what's going on in the minds of Murat or Ney, what exactly attracts Walewska to Napoleon, etcetera? For people interested in what Napoléon might have moved, I strongly recommend the film 'Waterloo' (Bondarchuk 1970) with an overwhelming Napoléon played by Rod Steiger!
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9/10
Kind of Monty Python
25 July 2003
It's only three weeks ago I heard about this movie. Last night I watched it for the first time on dvd and I think it's the funniest movie I ever saw in my (58 years old) life. I laughed for two hours and had tears of joy in my eyes! The music is wonderful too and an essential part of the story. It's impossible to compare this film with any other or to describe in short the totally insane story. I thought this a kind of East European Monty Python humor.
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