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Hotel Rwanda (2004)
9/10
Realistic account
16 February 2008
Hotel Rwanda is perhaps one of the best films I've seen to date. The film shows how bigotry can move otherwise decent people to commit unspeakable atrocities against those who they view as different. It inversely also shows people of goodwill will challenge those who perform genocide/murder against those who they consider different and guilty of murder. Such is the case in this film. The concierge/manager of a Rwandan hotel pays bribes, pleads, and goes' as he has to in order to save innocents from genocide.

Like many of us who grew us in the United States I have met many who define racial issues as a Black/White issue. Well the truth is that prejudice can bring out it's ugly head under any issue. It's up to us of goodwill to set the record straight by rejecting hate speech, and actions.

This film the Hotel Rwanda should wake us all up to the pretense of evil racism, and bigotry.
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10/10
A realistic study of race relations
18 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a great study of race relations, without resorting to the usual "polically correct " diatribe's.

Edwards Norton (Derek in the film) makes one of his greatest performances as the son of a fireman who was killed by blacks while reporting to a fire. The trauma that his sons experience leads Derek (Edward Norton) into the path of the white supremasive movement. He becomes a skinhead who rallies other disaffected whites into a movement that rejects not only blacks but also Asians, and those of Spanish heritage. He becomes a hero to the white supremacists and organizes attacks against those he blames for his father's death.

He winds up in prison for the death of several blacks who tried to either steal of damage his car. Whether those black were stealing or vandalizing car remains vague in the story line. Never-the-less he ends up in prison for three years where he learns first hand the hypocrisy of race relations. He befriends a black inmate who was mistreated by the criminal justice system, and soon reject his affiliation with the white/Aryans crowd.

A commentary on this film cannot be complete without mentioning DR. Sweeney. A black professor who encourages his students to write an essay about issues of civil rights. Derek's brother writes about Mein Kampf. At about the same time Norton gets released from prison and goes about rejecting his path of hate.

This is one of the best film I've watched. I highly recommend viewing this film. It'll tap into our most internal biases.
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Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000)
10/10
Best series ever
18 August 2007
Beverly Hills 90210 is perhaps one of the best, if not the best of all of the soaps. It is the most or one of the most utterly realistic, idealistic, and entertaining of all show geared towards youth.

The cast is a great collection of some of the best stars in the entertainment world. But the most important thing is how they ( the cast) go about dealing with the problems that affect youth. Be it the intellectual Brandon ( Jason Priesly) or the extremely sensuous Kelly Taylor they all put on a great performances which is the envy of all prime time.

In addition of tne main cast is a great ensemble of some of the best talent around. In particular Angel Boris of Playboy fame and, Dina Merrill, and Denise Richards. All contributed to making 90210 the best series ever.
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10/10
Gabrielle rocks
18 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film starting Gabrielle Anwar , one of the most beautiful women the world is definitely a must see.

Anwar as the late Sinora Webster gave a great performance shows in fact that "Wild Hearts can't be broken". She was a woman who took challenges head on, with great courage she battle all of the obstacles thrown against her, and in spite of her eventual blindness she continued her performance against the odds.

She Webster(as played by Anwar) gave the performance of a lifetime, and proved that the determination of the spirit can overcome a handicap. In her case blindness. This is among the best film that I've ever seen ever. Webters's triumph of the spirit over her handicap is truly inspirational.
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8/10
Superb film
18 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film "Hannibal Raising" is one of the best films I've ever watched. This film show how an otherwise good man "Hannibal Lecter" turn into a monster/Cannibal/vampire.

The acting was superb So was the story line. Hannibal Lecter the son of a prominent Lithuanian family experienced first hand the cruelty of the German/Soviet battle. His sister was murdered and cannibalized by partisans. He (Hannibal) was so traumatized by the murder of his sister Mischa that he went on to become a sort of avenging Angel and avenged his' sister's (Mischa's) death on those responsible. Though what Hannibal did was an overkill he succeed in making those responsible for his sister's death pay with the life /or limb.

This film is a must see for all those of us who have watched "Silence of the Lambs" and it's prequels, and sequels.
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Europa Europa (1990)
10/10
Superb film
29 March 2006
I have seen many foreign films but Europa Europa ranks really high.

It is the real-life story of a young Jewish man who escapes persecution from the Nazis by masquerading as one. He soon wins the minds and hearts of the Germans he serves with. Some discover his true ethnicity but still help him since he is so likable. He even wins the hearts of some women who fall hard for the likable Josef Peters( the name he takes to pass as a non-Jew Aryan) He becomes so well liked that even his commander wants to adopt him .He goes on to excel in a school for the Hitler Youth and again becomes popular among both his fellow students and teachers. He goes to great lengths to pass as a non-Jew , and many of his methods to achieve that end truly are unorthodox.

The beautiful Julie Delpy plays a young German girl who's taken by this young man. She however is a fanatical Nazi and the relationship takes on a life of it's own.

This film is a must see for those of us who are unrepentant movie buffs.
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An insult to Cuban Americans
28 March 2006
While watching War Stories A short time ago my opinion of both Col. North and his intelligence became suspect on Oliver North, Col North poured salt on the wounds of those of us persecuted by the Castro Dictatorship. The episode featured a narrative of the Battle of Giron ( April 17th 1961) or as the US far left likes to call it Bay of Pigs., He as a guess had none other than former Castro Comamander of Camaguey Province Huber Matos. This man Huber Matos was responsible for the death of hundreds of my countrymen while with Castro.Several hundreds of others including my father were imprisoned. The whole episode was the equivalent of a story on the Holocaust and having a former SS officer as guess. This Huber Matos later got into a "LOVER'S QUARREL" with Castro and was imprisoned under comfortable surroundings. When released he came to the US and became the darling of all those former(????) Castristas who came to the US not because of opposition to communism but because they eventually realized that the revolution did not include 2.9% financing on a new auto, or a mortgage on a suburban home.

I once admired and respected Col. North for his contributions against the spread of communism in Central America. But after watching War Stories my opinion of him took a serious nosedive.
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8 femmes (2002)
10/10
Good film
20 March 2006
8 Women/Femmes is perhaps one of the best French films I've seen. The music alone is enough to make this a classic.

This film is about eight women who are all alone in a house where a murder has supposedly taken place. The murder victim is the only man in the house. all the other occupants women all continuously try to unravel the murder mystery and question each other as possible culprits. This leads to many secrets surrounding the women coming to light. All are great actresses, and the music is really unique. In fact if judged only as a musical it wins commendations all around. In addition the acting of all the actresses is superb. Newcomer Ludivine Saignier, and veterans like Catherine Denouve, and Isabelle Huppert truly make this a must see for foreign film buffs. This is a must see for all those who like a good film.
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5/10
Entertaining but not informative enough
20 March 2006
This film deals with a psychotic woman who lusts after the lawyer who got her off a murder charge. It has many of the essentials a woman who supposedly kills her husband ( Warren) How she's gotten off by her lawyer ( Coyote) Actually more on a no bill from grand Jury as opposed to a trial. But it lacks something which I consider essential. The film was presented as a docudrama. It didn't have a final narrative as to what eventually became of the participants. As a film it is entertaining but in a docudrama I expect some type of summary as to what became of the characters since it is supposes to be a true story. In spite of it's short comings it does provide some entertaining viewing . If only there had been a postscript it would have passed for a good film.
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6/10
Eccentric but entertaining
5 March 2006
Rocket Gibraltar was definitely a film in a class of it's own. It is the story of an aging patriarch brilliantly played by Burt Lancaster, a formerly blacklisted poet, and widower , his children, and grandchildren who gather to pay homage to him for a birthday. The interesting thing is how eccentric they all were. What I found most interesting was the way the characters were portrayed. This is one of the few films in which almost every character is portrayed in detail. Among them is the Suzi Amis character. She is portrayed as a bit of a libertine, a part that she plays with style and flair. The grandchildren however steal the film. The way those kids were able to dominate the film was a true work of genius on the part of the director/s. The ending to the film which I will not describe is truly a grand finale. The film is quite entertaining, leaning a bit towards a black comedy.
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The Secret Path (1999 TV Movie)
8/10
a thoughtful film
3 May 2005
When I started watching this film I had no idea it was going to have such an impact on me.

I'm not much into what some may call tear jerquers, but this film really impacted on the way that I'll see such film in the future. The combination of superb acting,, the overall story, and the personal touch from the characters, made for a superb film experience.

The story consist of a neglected young white girl, from a family who's patriarch grandpa Foley mistreats her and tries to force her into prostitution, and into hustling soldiers for money. She resists , and find the love and affection she didn't get at home in a black childless couple , excellently played by Ossie Davis, and Della Reese.

The bond that develops between the girl during the ages of 7 and 14 is really unique, equally moving is that despite coming from a dysfunctional family she becomes under the guidance of the couple a fine young lady.

This is a film that should be watched by all. The storyline is among the best I've watched.
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Scarface (1983)
6/10
Entertaining but biased
2 April 2005
Scarface contrary to some sources is not based on true events. To the best of my knowledge , I'm sure there are parallels to things that happen in the world of the Drug trade. This film is a remake of an older film by the same name. Starring the great Paul Muni. Reminiscent of the older film is the blimp bearing the writings " The World is yours" As a Cuban-American I take issued with the way we Cuban'Americans are portrayed.

To begin with the script was written by Oliver Stone, a man who has made a living putting down those of us who oppose communism. Having the likes of Stone write the script was the equivalent of of having a white supremacist write a script on black history. He (Stone) has made it clear in interviews his thoughts on anti-Castro Cuban-Americans.

The film of a Cuban refugee who arrives by way of Mariel, and became disillusioned with mundane work , and goes on to become a drug kingpin, was entertaining but was it. As a former Police Officer I know that much of what happened was totally fake. that isn't the way the drug trade , and police agencies operate. Most of it was pure artistic license.

A "battalion" of hundreds of Bolivian hit men, just doesn't fly into Coral Gables Fl and proceeds to take an estate and it's occupants. Pure artistic license. The local police , and "military authorities" may object.

Entertaining but pure fiction.
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10/10
among the best in comedy
2 April 2005
It was quite a coincidence that today April 3, 2005, I first saw this great piece of comedy "My favorite Year" as so happens to be the birthday of Anne DeSalvo who played Alice Miller.

I dedicate this comment to Ms. De Salvo on her birthday.

This film is truly one of a kind. non-stop laughter. Peter O'Toole and Joseph Bologna sure were at their best. Not an easy thing to notice since, since I consider both to be among the best actors of our time. not to be out done Bill Macy as Sy Benson, Anne DeSalvo (of course) as his secretary Alice Miller , and Lainie Kazan as the mother of Stone (who was put in charge of the O'Toole character Alan Swann ) . All gave quite stellar performances.

The film centered on Benji Stone , excellently played by Mark Lynn-Barker. He tells the story of the year 1954 in which he while working on the set of a comedy. He is charged with keeping the fun loving , hard drinking Swann (O'Toole) out of trouble . By no means an easy task. The things they do together are quite out of the ordinary. Though he is in charge of keeping Swann out of trouble, he really gets to enjoy his job.

This film also show the side of the entertainment history we don't see, Swann (O'Toole ) confesses that his entire "persona" is a fabrication of the studios, and show his own insecurities.

This film is fine entertainment.
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ffolkes (1980)
9/10
Another side of Roger Moore
31 March 2005
Roger Moore sure shows his versatility as an actor in this film, He play a character though not very unlike his James Bond "persona" physically and intellectually , but quite different than his soave debonair character typical of the bond films.

In Ffolkes he plays an eccentric former British Navy diver who is called upon to swart a terrorist attack on the North sea oil platforms. Anthony Perkins also gives an excellent performance as the head of a group of terrorist who forcibly takes control of a supply ship and threaten to blow up some oil platforms in the North Sea.

Moore's character is what make the entire film worth watching. He's an eccentric tough guy, who loves cats and a good shot of whiskey, he's also highly opinionated. To the point that drives some to dislike him.

Watch this film, It's non-stop action, and excellent dialoge.
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10/10
Excellent in action and dialoge
31 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film in addition to the heroic exploit of the British Special Air Service SAS, has very intelligent dialoge which exposes the hypocrisy of certain "pseudo-pacifist" organizations. This film is a definite case study of how radicals can manipulate , shape events to promote their agenda's.

Judy Davis gives a fine performance as the leader of a radical anti-nuclear organization. Lewis Collins gives an equal performance as the undercover SAS officer who infiltrates the group.

The terrorist take over the American embassy in London and ask impossible demands of the government.

The dialoge between Judy Davis , and Richard Widmark who plays Arthur Curry, fictional American secretary of state, joined by Robert Webber , who portrays Ira Potter head of America's fictional Strategic Air Command, truly exposed the hypocrisy of those Pseudo-Pacifists, who hide under causes that in the surface promote peace, to carry out their terrorist agenda. this dialoge is too good to give away.

The fine acting of those previously mentioned , and their verbal exchanges make this a truly great film
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Iron Jawed Angels (2004 TV Movie)
10/10
Most inspiring
19 March 2005
Iron-Jawed-angels is definitely a classic. This representation of women's struggled to get the vote is perhaps one of the best that I've seen.

This film revolves around a group of women led by the great Alice Paul who with great courage face the establishment of the time, and against all odds push forward and overcome tremendous hurdles , including a confrontation with President Woodrow Wilson to get the right to vote for women.

Hillary Shwank is fabulous in her portrayal of Ms Paul , So is Frances O'Connor as Lucy Burns, and Molly Parker as Emily Leighton. Wife of a U.S. Senator who initially opposed voting rights for women.

The suffering these brave and determined women faced , and the courage , and determination they showed , not yielding or backing down made this film one of the most inspiring historical epics to date.

This takes place c. 1917 when the U.S. is faced with a World War, and a President (Wilson) who had little knowledge or concern for women's rights.

In addition to the politics of the day, these dedicated ladies take their fight to Washington, first with demonstrations, and recruiting among factory workers, all the way to the White House, where they are shunned by President Wilson.

When World War One begins they become the object of hate, and anger even from other women's groups , who decide to tow the line. Paul and her followers are physically attacked, imprisoned, brutally force fed when they go on a hunger strike. But they followed through, didn't give in one bit.

These ladies set a true example of bravery and determination, facing every obstacle head on with courage.

Everyone man, or woman should make every effort to view this film . This is among the most inspirational historical epics ever.
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In America (2002)
10/10
Welcome to America
10 March 2005
This is the story of an Irish family who comes into the US via Canada and settles in a rundown New York City neighborhood as n immigrant (exile) myself, I can very much relate to what the family was going through . Hot summers , different culture, eccentric neighbors, theft., illness. I recall my own bout with Nephritis shortly after arrival, along with a long hospital stay.My family settled in the most rundown corrupt city in the US . Newark NJ. So I know how it is to land in an undesirable town location.

The family consists of a father , mother , two young girls, and the subtle presence of a boy who died shortly before the family emigrated. His presence however is felt through the film. .

The mother becomes pregnant soon after , but must make a choice. If the child is born too early he/she would probably not survive, if carried to term the mother's life would be in peril.

A subplot develops when the family befriend an eccentric black painter. Mateo. played brilliantly by Djimon Hounsou. They establish a bond that transcends their different backgrounds.

The pregnant mother takes the courageous step not to terminate her pregnancy.

As it is my practice I will not divulge anymore information, since It is my function as an author to comment on a film in order to either promote it or tell the reader it isn't worth his/her time. Also i'm not going to give away the best scenes and dialogue. That my dear reader you will see for yourself when you view this masterpiece of a film.

You must see it.
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10/10
A man of Courage
10 March 2005
As a Cuban-American the Arturo Sandoval story as portrayed in this film was truly a moving experience.

This film " For Love or Country" is the life-story of Arturo Sandoval he's a Cuban trumpet player who loves his country but questions the repressive communist dictatorship. because of the fact that he is a great trumpeter he's allowed some privileges, and it's through these perks that he meets the great jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie. He and Gillespie form a bond that is apparent through the film. Their friendship also make for much needed comic relief , something essential when dealing with such subject matter. Gillespie's antics a truly unique., and It is through this friendship that the wheels are set in motion for Sandoval's defection.

Sandoval knows that his wife and child would immediately be targeted by the communist authorities in Cuba, should he follow through with his defection. He's a brave man who faced with a serious decision, takes courageous steps ., and with the help of Gillespie , arranges to defect. Problem is that will his family be able to join him in exile. That is the main plot of the film . How can he escape Cuba, and have his family join him.

This is one of Andy Garcia' so best acting roles. He conveys to the world the ugly reality of the Cuban experience in our search for freedom.

This film truly is among the best I've seen.
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10/10
Best film
2 March 2005
Of all of the films that I have seen recently"Chasing Liberty" has to have been the best. Mandy Moore was stunning, as were her co-stars in particular Jeremy Piven, and Annabella Sciorra as the secret service agents assigned to her. This film is the story of the daughter of the President of the United States she's witty , beautiful, intelligent , sociable, what many would consider an ideal woman/girl. she wants freedom to go out on dates, and experience life , like any other teenager. This is the problem now. the daughter of a president cannot just get up and go, and plans are made by both her and her father the president( without each one knowing what the other is doing). Plans are set in motion during a trip to Prague. With the assistance of the daughter of a French Ambassador she eludes her escorts and sets out on an odyssey thought Europe, accompanied by a mysterious stranger. What happens next is too much , and too interesting to give away.

This film contains a subplot that is as interesting as the main feature itself, this subplot involves her main Secret service Escorts, played by Jeremy Piven , As Agent Weiss, and Annabella Sciorra as Agent Morales. They realize their mutual attraction for each other while tracking the first daughter through Europe. The chemistry that develops between them is something that makes this film sort of a "film within a film".

This film is number one on the must see list.
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The Ripper (1997 TV Movie)
7/10
Fictionalized but with good acting
2 March 2005
As a Police Officer I have always been intrigued by unsolved murders. When some one mentions unsolved murders the "White Chapel" murders attributed to "Jack the Ripper" comes to mind.

Though this film "The Ripper" is highly fictionalized, what it lacks in facts it more than makes up in acting, and authenticity in details of the period.

Patrick Bergin, and Gabrielle Anwar portray the parts of Scotland Yard Police inspector, and former prostitute , to perfection. More than a crime story It is about the relationship which develops between Bergin (the police inspector) and Anwar(a former prostitute ) . Anwar has left prostitution behind, and is by that time working in a factory. Her life takes a turn when she witnesses one of the murders, but is reluctant to come forward because of the way she's treated by most of the police. Bergin unlike the others gives her police protection, and the two eventually become romantically involved.

What made this film great was the way that the inequities of the Victorian era is portrayed. All from the separation of the classes. To the scenery, and last but not least the Superb acting of the cast.

If you're looking for historical facts about the "White Chapel Murders" this film is not for you. But if you can watch this film keeping in mind that it is not a documentary , or historical epic, and that the writer used extensive "creative license" then you must see it.
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4/10
Decadent Campus
2 March 2005
This film is certainly not one of the better ones, of life on campus.The story itself is about a campus drug dealer in Vermont.

Ma advise to all young people who want to live on campus is under no let your parents see this film. It shows the epitome of campus decadence, drug use, suicide, rampant sex, betrayal.

The acting is at best mediocre, despite the appearance of beautiful actresses Jessica Biel. Shannyn Sossamon, and Kate Bosworth. All great actresses in their own right , but their talents wasted.

The storyline itself is rather vague and obscured by what appeared to be a constant switching from one scene to the other,

The film also suffered from what I saw as lack of in depth dialogue.

To make matters worse none of the characters were sympathetic . All were stereotypically self centered, with little concern for others. No message or social commentary.

Need a reason to see it , well it was entertaining from an almost comic point of view. Needless to say those beautiful actresses Biel, Sossamon, and Bosworth, make an otherwise morbid film worth watching.
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I Accuse (2003)
9/10
A Woman of courage
1 March 2005
This made for TV movie is perhaps one of the best factual accounts that I have watched in a while.

The story of a single mother brilliantly played by the beautiful Estella Warren is one of those film that won't let you look away for a second. You cant keep you eyes off the screen. Yes I did find it that good.

The plot consists of a single mother ( Warren) who after a quarrel that turns physical with her boyfriend, goes to the local emergency room for treatment. The doctor on duty.played quite well by John Hannah sedates her (Warren) and rapes her. she goes to the police who initially doubt her story . Doctor Darian (Hannah) is something of a local "darling" and almost the entire town sides with him and against the victim. (Warren). The Doctor uses his good relations with the local authorities to defame his victim, and uses extreme measures to elude prosecution.

Forced to relocate she then embarks on a crusade to prove that she was in fact raped by the Doctor. Needless to say the Doctor continues with rather creative ways to pass DNA tests. Not getting justice from the authorities she goes and hires a private investigator to get her due justice.

I will not divulge further details since many readers have not seen this film.

The courage and perseverance of this woman, in seeking justice is truly inspirational.

This is a true story that to the dis-credit of many societies happens quite often. Something we all need to fight for change. .
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Jonny Zero (2005– )
Excellent action drama
25 February 2005
I was literally blown away by this new action drama. Johnny Zero is definitely a must see. I see this series becoming a classic if those involved actors, directors, producers continue doing what they are doing , well they got the hell of a series in their hands.

Calvo (aka Johnny Zero) a former drug user turned private eye is quite an inspirational character. I like to see when people who once made bad choices turn their lives around and become upstanding members of their communities, helping those who are battling the same demons he once battled himself.

He's a very compassioned individual. In today's episode he went as far as saving the life of someone who wanted to torture him. That who scene and dialogue was quite funny in fact.

The natural acting abilities of the entire cast will surely make this series a must see.
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The O.C. (2003–2007)
A decent imitation
25 February 2005
What I mean by a decent imitation is that the O.C. is an obvious pseudo-sequel to what in my opinion was the best drama on prime time "Beverly Hills 90210".

It's characters exhibit many of the same personalities as did 90210. The good girl, bad girl, illegitimate child, good guy, bad guy. We must also take into account the love hate relationship the public has with the beautiful, and talented Mischa Burton. If there is someone that is love or hate It's Ms. Barton.

There's much good drama for example the legal troubles, the mercurial marital issues between Peter Gallagher, and Kelly Rowan . Also the legal troubles confronting Dale with Gallagher as his opinionated counsel.

However this drama is about a group of youngsters, who are facing the usual issues facing youth.. Sex, drugs, alcoholism, and of course teenage rebellion. All very real issues that confront youth.

This drama has all the potential of becoming a classic if it maintains I't present course;.
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10/10
Superb
24 February 2005
As one who is familiar with the works of Cervantes I must say that this particular representation is among if not the best of all.

Peter O'Toole leads an ensemble of many of the best actors, and actresses of the time. Among them that classical beauty Sophia Loren, who played Aldonza/Dulcenea to perfection.

O'Toole gives what I consider to be one of his best, if not the best performance of his life. His natural style captivates audiences, totally. I have seen few actors who can act so natural, and with such eloquence. His gift of oratory is quite remarkable.

The beautiful Loren with her natural acting style, and wit gives the character of Aldonza/Dulcenea the most justice any actress can give a role.

The rest of the cast, the priest, Quijana's niece, housekeeper, play the part of self centered people fooling themselves into "they're only thinking of his (Quijana/Quixote's) well being , to the infinite degree. Equally talented were the muleteers , Pedro the head muleteer was a real card.

The audience must take into consideration the fact that almost all the actors, and actresses were playing dual roles. This in an of itself is an credit to their acting abilities.

No commentary would be complete without mentioning the music. It ranks as one of my top ten soundtracks. I listen to some of the songs on an almost daily basis.

This film is superb.
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