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Vengeance is blind, as is unconditional faith in Burton/Depp
24 December 2007
One of Burton/Depp's weakest films, quite sadly. Often repelling, at times outright boring, and overall a pointless exercise. As a musical, it is too realistic to be a fun show, but still too traditional for the songs to blend seamlessly into the plot. Depp, while believable, doesn't really shine here - it's Sasha Baron Cohen who has probably the most memorable performance, albeit a short one. And honestly, I am not among those who enjoys numerous closeups of throat slitting and fountains of blood.

To sum up, if you want to see a great vengeance story, better find a good adaptation of Count Monte Cristo - that's as good as it gets.
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Paradise Now (2005)
20 February 2006

"Paradise Now" won the Golden Globe award. The movie shows the route that two young Palestinians take to become suicide murderers, up until the minute they board a bus in Tel Aviv filled with children.

The movie looks professional. It was made with great attention to detail, but it is extremely dangerous – not only to the Middle East, but to the whole world.

My son Asaf, almost 17 years old, was a high school student in the eleventh grade who loved computer science. One day after school he boarded a bus home, as usual. Along the way, a suicide murderer from Hebron, 21 years old, a computer science student at the Hebron Polytechnic, exploded on the bus.

17 people were killed, 9 of them school children aged 18 or less. My son Asaf was killed on spot.

I watched the movie "Paradise Now" trying to understand what it is trying to say, what message it carries? That the murderer is human? He is not. That he has doubts? He has none. After all, he is willing to kill himself along with his victims. That the Israelis are to blame for this brutal killing? Are the Israelis to blame for the Twin Towers in New York, the night club in Indonesia, the hotel in Egypt, the shop in Turkey, the restaurant in Morocco or in Tunis, the hotel in Jordan, the underground in London, the train in Spain? And the list goes on and on.

What makes this movie award-worthy? Would the people that awarded this movie the Golden Globe do the same if the movie was about young people from Saudi Arabia who learn how to fly airplanes in the USA and then use Islamic rituals to prepare themselves for their holy mission, crashing their airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York City? Would this movie get an award then?

This movie tries to say that suicide murder is legitimate when you feel you have exhausted all other means. But a suicide murderer who boards a bus kills 15 or 20 innocent people, so how about a suicide murderer who walks into a city with a biological bomb and kills 10,000 people or 100,000 people? Is that still legitimate? Where does one draw the line?

I believe that the world should draw the line at one person. The killing of even one person is not legitimate. My son was almost 17 years old, he loved surfing, he loved loud music. Now he is gone because a suicide murderer decided it's legitimate to blow himself up on a crowded bus.

Granting an award to this kind of movie gives the filmmakers a seal of approval to hide behind. Now they can say that the world sees suicide bombing as legitimate. By ignoring the film's message and the implications of this message, those that chose to award this film a prize have become part of the evil chain of terror and accomplices to the next suicide murders – whether they kill 17 people or 17,000 people.

Yossi Zur

--end of quote--
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A poignant miracle
18 September 2004
Many people say the cried at the end of this movie... Huh! Knowing the plot already, I (a grown up man) can barely hold my tears from the very beginning whenever I watch it. Much more than just a "cute and sad fairy tale", this movie is a true piece of art. This is one of those rarest cases when a bunch of talented and truly, but truly dedicated people set out to create something beautiful, some chemistry occurs and ... a miracle happens. Fortunately for all of us, this miracle immortalized on film.

Throughout the human history, the wisdom of generation was conveyed through fairy tales. This tale is no exception. This story, told in magic simplicity, actually has some deep philosophical meanings. While mercilessly debunking the true nature of human beings, this tragic story really tears your heart, and yet it fills it with hope. That is the true and, perhaps, the only purpose of art, if you ask me.

Why do we need music, painting, theatre, poetry? Is there a real excuse for their existence? To me, the only purpose, the only excuse is to help people go on, to give them hope. And it's well worth it!

To sum up, easily Tim Burton's best, this film is a masterpiece, my favorite American movie, and probably one of the best movies of all times. 10/10
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An Ordinary Miracle (1979 TV Movie)
One of the best Russian movies ever made
24 February 2004
Based on a play by Yevgeniy Shwartz, one of the best Russian playwrights of the 20th century, made by one of the best directors of the Soviet epoch with an unprecedented all-stars cast, this movie has instantly become a classic of Russian cinema and theatre alike. Critics may point out various flaws in it, still it is indispensable for anyone who is out to understand Russian culture a bit more, or just for anyone, I might add.
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