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The Cider House Rules (1999)
a good but also very manipulative brainwashing, and therefore a very dangerous movie
If I had children, I wouldn't allow them to watch this movie. Why? The entire movie is a propaganda for abortion. It only depicts pro-choice arguments. Pro-life arguments are completely left out.
The most manipulative character in this movie is Doctor Wilbur who talks Homer into guilty feelings for being pro-life ("If this girl came to you few months earlier, and asked for an abortion, what would you have done? Nothing. You would have done nothing. And this happens by doing nothing" (a girl is dying after a badly performed abortion by an amateur). Besides Dr Wilbur, all pro-choice people are the good guys, whilst all pro-life people are the baddies. Homer is an exception to this rule because in the end, he changes his mind and becomes an abortionist himself.
Dear author of this movie and the book. There are foster parents in this world who do love their adopted children, and who would never raise their hands against them. And there are mothers who live happily ever after with their rape-children. If Charlize Theron's character actually wanted to have some children so much, why did she abort her first child in the first place? Oh, let me guess, she was just not ready yet for being a mother.
I rate this movie with 7 stars for two reasons. When I was a teenager, I didn't fully understand the message of this film. To me, it was a beautifully made movie about a boy searching for a home and a family before realising that the orphanage has always been, and always will be his true home and family. Now that I'm older, I understand the manipulative message ("abortion is not a crime, and should be legalised"). Because of its one-sided message, I think this movie is indeed a very dangerous brainwashing movie. If the author's intent was the legalisation of abortion, then well done! It's legal now in many states and countries. On behalf of thousand millions of aborted babies, THANK YOU very much!! I hope, you can sleep with all those painful screams of unwanted babies. Again, THANK YOU!
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
The end was too politically correct
Most critics have already written what I think about this movie. I can only agree with many negative reviews here. But one thing has not been mentioned very clearly. This movie feels like the producers trying to shove their political views down my throat.
It's okay to have LeFou acted a little gay. Most children would not understand small allusions to LeFou's homosexuality. But having him danced with another man is too obvious. And making him change the sides is a bit unrealistic. If I were he with a "broken" heart after Gaston abandoned him, I would have just left the scene instead of fighting with the "good guys". Perhaps Disney wants to make us believe that homosexuals are actually misunderstood, and that they belong to the good guys. But let's be honest. The original LeFou is not a fighter. He's just a ridiculous butt kisser who we can laugh about. That's all, and nothing more.
Another obvious PC point: One racially mixed couple is surely nice and okay but why does it have to be 2 mixed couples? How many black people lived in France back in those days?
The point of the ending is too obvious. Disney wants to teach us that it's perfectly normal to fall in love with someone of the same sex, or of a different race. I get it but it's annoying, and feels like a brain-wash.
Please, make the next live action Disney movie less politically correct. Not all people around the world agree with your political views. Or at least, don't make it too obvious.
Perhaps Russia did the right thing by restricting the age of viewers for this movie. It's not a kids' movie anymore. It's rather propaganda.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
A good version of the "Princess and the Frog" tale
When I saw the trailer for the first time, I've always wanted to watch this movie. Unfortunately, I never had time and money to see it in a movie theatre. Now I've finally watched it on the internet, and I like it. After many 3D animation movies like the Toy Story series or "non-cartoon" TV series like the "Hannah Montana", I think it was really time for Disney to go back to basics. Until "Princess and the Frog", it had been a long time since Disney released old fashioned cartoon movies like "Arielle" or "Beauty and the Beast".
I wondered for a long time why Disney stopped making cartoon musicals with beautiful songs to sing along with. Many recent Disney movies have very few or no songs at all. So, what happened to Disney? Perhaps, we'll never know.
But fortunately, "Princess and the Frog" does have a lot of music, and a very charming story to tell. It surely might be good to know about black people's lives before racism was officially outlawed but it's not a must in order to understand the entire story. There are very few hints at racism. I can think of only two scenes which might refer to it.
For example, you might wonder who outbid Tiana after she actually had got enough money to afford that old dump. Did anyone outbid her at all? If yes, then how could she buy that dump after all, if that building had already been sold to someone else? Or were those two white men being racist to her?
Another hint at racism which I can think of might be a very short scene where Tiana takes a seat in a back row. That scene reminds me of the civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Sitting in a bus, Miss Parks refused to give up her seat in the "colored" section to a white passenger after the "white" section was filled (see the Wikipedia article on Rosa Parks).
The Host (2013)
It's between okay and good for a Stephenie Meyer Book adaptation
I read the book. So, I noticed how the director and the screenwriters tried their best not to deviate too much from the original story by Stephenie Meyer. All in all, it's really a decently well made film. A little more music would have made this film better but it's okay. William Hurt as Jeb was of course a very good choice. He played his role exactly the way I imagined Jeb in the book. Although I used to have another actor in my mind, I don't want to complain about him. He did a good job. The architecture of the mountain lairs was outstanding. What I like most was the depiction of souls. They look much more beautiful than they did in my imaginations.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure about Melanie's voice. I know, the depiction of two voices in one body is surely a very difficult challenge. I do like Saoirse Ronan - frankly speaking, I love her very much - but sometimes Melanie's voice can be annoying and unlikeable (though i know, that's what Melanie is really like in the book as well - annoying). But maybe there are are other ways to solve this problem:
- replacing Melanie's voice with subtitles
- Saoirse Ronan could have spoken two different accents - each one for a different character
- depicting Melanie as a kind of transparent ghost talking to Wanda (this I think might have been the best solution)
Anyway, except for Melanie's interferences, there's nothing else for me to criticize. I'm missing the old dying man who always confuses Wanda with his old deceased wife but perhaps his character would have slow down this film too much. So, it might have been a good decision to omit him completely. I'm also missing the different planets which Wanda describes to Melanie's friends and families. It would have been cool to see little animations of those twelve planets which Wanda had visited before she came to the earth.
Hit & Miss (2012)
very convincing and outstanding performance by Chloe Sevigny
When I read the summary, I wondered how any film - or TV show production company can bring this topic on screen without getting too ridiculous or too stereotyped? How can you make the audience believe that a contract killer would think about changing gender? I am still wondering how they did it but in fact they did.
Considering the controversial subject of this TV series, the producers of this series did a very good job on that. To me who does not understand transsexualism completely, the script seems convincing to me, and so does Chloe's performance. I believed in every word she said, and in every action or gestures she does. By the way, very good work on the accent, Chloe.
What seemed to be shocking in the first minutes was probably the right thing to do. I think the depiction of Mia's penis was indeed necessary. Without it, this series would end up less convincing because it would have made Chloe look like an actress who just pretends to be a female transsexual without one evidence at least.
Being Erica: Dr. Erica (2011)
All in All it is still good but not the same anymore
My very first review on this series was rated with 9 stars for the first three seasons. The minus point came from the fact that the third season focused rather on one additional patient (i.e. Adam) of Dr Tom than all of his patients. I would like to have learned more about the black, and the white female patient, and the other dark haired guy in the group therapy.
But since the third season didn't focus on them all, I'm still wondering why the screenwriters came up with four additional patients when they only focused on Adam who becomes Erica's new love interest?
I really loved this show. As I said in my previous review, I was in love with the show. But unfortunately, the final season was a little more disappointing than the third one. The on- and off-relationships between Erica and her men (especially Adam and Kai) get annoying sometimes. And the love relationship between Julianne and Brent is not very convincing to me. As a straight man, I know that real straight men would never act gay-like. And I doubt very much that a straight woman would fall in love with a man who obviously act gay sometimes. The last two episodes of the final season were so much better than many other previous ones because they gave me the same familiar feelings back I used to get from the first two seasons. Some episodes were good, and some others were just okay. But unfortunately, a little too many plots seemed to be predictable than they used to be in the first two seasons.
In my opinion, they should have dropped some episodes, and combined the last two seasons into a hopefully perfect final season. As my former art teacher used to say, 'Sometimes less is more.' Perhaps they should have made less episodes but tried to make them all count.
My 8 stars are for this final episode and the entire TV show (counting from season 1 to season 4).
Being Erica (2009)
So deeply in love with this Show
I have finished watching three seasons, and I can't express how much I love this show (especially Erin Karpluk :-)). Watching this TV show is like finding the love of my life. I'm very addicted to it, and I can't wait to see the next season. There are so many things I love about this TV series:
Basic concepts: It's always exciting to see room switches when a patient or the therapist opens a door. And I also love how Erica's appearance changes when she travels back in time. Erin looks really cute and adorable when she plays a teenager.
I love the fact that this show does not centre on a teenager but a thirty year-old woman. Our society tends to think: young=beautiful, adult=boring, age 30=the end of life
But the truth is, we are still alive, and we grown-ups still experience new things everyday. And as we should already know, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
It's also good to learn a bit about the Jewish culture. I have never met a Jew in my life (at least, as far as I can be sure of), and I wanted to learn about Jewish cultures and traditions some time ago.
Actors: Erin Karpluk and Michael Riley are definitely the best choices for the leading roles. Their acting skills make you feel exactly what you are supposed to feel. You laugh and cry with their characters, and you fully understand their thoughts and feelings. Of course, a good TV show also needs good supporting actors. I can't name them all but I'm sure you won't be disappointed about Reagon Pasternak, Kathreen Laskey, John Boylan, Joanna Douglas, Tyron Leitso, and many others.
Plot: Beside the main plot which has been already summarised by someone else on this IMDb page, there are many twists and turns, and other Unexpectancies. Without giving too much away, I can say that this show is more than just another flicker on the "Butterfly effect" problem. It teaches us a lot about life, and how to solve problems in our private and business lives. You really learn something in each episode, and it really does make you THINK! In the first series, Erica travels through her past times to fix her regrets in order to solve her present problems. In the second season, we learn more about the "Therapy World". Dr Tom is not the only therapist who can send you through time (including future). There are at least three other therapists like him (two men, and one woman). As we learn during this season, Dr Tom used to be a patient too. In fact, he used to be totally wrecked before he became a doctor. In the third season, Erica joins a group therapy with Dr Tom's four other patients. This therapy is the second phase before the final one: Becoming a therapist.
Music: Especially the opening theme song "All I ever wanted to be" by Lily Frost. I can't stop listening to it. It suits to Erica's character perfectly. You will also enjoy two songs performed by Sebastion Pigott (who plays the patient Kai). My favourite one is the song "Alien Like You".
Now Is Good (2012)
Almost perfect - and I love Dakota's accent
First of all, don't worry, I won't spoil anything about this film because I'm too lazy to summarise the plot since it has been already summarised by many other reviewers.
I have read the book and watched this film twice, and here is my final review on this film: - very well abridged and modified. - very well acted by all actors, especially by Dakota Fanning. I am not British but I am quite familiar with some British accents by watching many British TV series and listening to British youtubers. And as far as I can say, Dakota's British accent seems to be quite flawless. Of course, if you're British, you are welcome to disagree with me.
The only minus point: I am still wondering if Olivia's blonde wig was necessary. Or maybe she should have dyed her hair to make it look more natural. But even if those two actors (Olivia and Dakota) had kept their natural hair colours, the film would still have worked because the script was perfectly written.