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8/10
As a mother of twins
20 October 2018
As a mother of twins this story was heartbreaking for me to watch. I feel that three babies were cheated out of developing that special bond that so many siblings have. They were deprived of interacting as babies, toddlers, school aged children who most likely would have had a very different life experience. I could feel their pain even though they smiled for the cameras. They were never given the chance just to be a family together. They were basically lab rats used for a scientific study that will not be published until they are all dead. This should never have been allowed and is disgusts me that these three boys were kept apart. The pain and anguish they have suffered since discovering each other is unconscionable. I wish the surviving brothers peace and comfort for their remaining lives.
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5/10
Just mediocre at best
16 September 2018
Just saw The Front Runner at TIFF tonight. Only went to see it because Hugh Jackman & Vera Farmega are two of my favourite actors (I'm Ukrainian background) I was cautiously hopeful that there would be something intriguing to this story that I was already familiar with. Slow to start, I kept waiting for that aha moment but it never really appeared. The Front Runner basically shows the hard working back room people who lead a campaign for whom they are willing to sacrifice their time & energy for a person they strongly believe in. I don't know why Hugh Jackman was cast as the lead as he is Australian so we know he's faking his American accent and I don't know why he agreed to the role. Vera Farmiga played the role well but there wasn't much to it. I doubt if this will even open in theatres. It will probably go straight to rental.
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The Wall (II) (2017)
7/10
Intense Psychological Thriller
3 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
What I loved about this movie is that it gives you a perspective of what an enemy thinks of a soldier who is in the enemies country. The Iraqi sniper has two advantages...he speaks english and knows Army "lingo". It doesn't take long for the American to figure out that the person he is speaking to by radio is his enemy. He is being taunted by this Iraqi who has the advantage of being hidden from sight and can see the two Americans. Aaron Taylor-Johnson gives a brilliant portrayal of a desperate, badly injured soldier who is desperate to find the location of the Iraqi sniper. This is really a one man movie which I stumbled upon and can't understand why I had never heard of it before. I love movies that are psychological thrillers and "The Wall" certainly falls into that category. I don't have any military experience so I wasn't focusing on what equipment these guys were using which some other reviewers who most likely have experience in combat, were commenting on what a soldier would be carrying aka binoculars. It's unfortunate that they are missing the point of this movie which to me is the Iraqi is not buying into the American reasons for being in his country. The Iraqi is questioning the insanity of blowing up a school in his country and then thinking that by sending teams to reconstruct infrastructure that Americans themselves previously destroyed was somehow going to make up for all the death and destruction.
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Backcountry (I) (2014)
7/10
A Campers Worst Nightmare
25 September 2017
I watched this movie as it was loosely based on a true story. I have never seen the lead actors in anything before so I wasn't expecting an academy award performance. A nice couple out for a camping adventure that could have been a romantic getaway had the man given more thought in preparing for a back woods adventure. His intentions were good but he didn't plan for any disasters. This is where most people fail in making sure that they are prepared for anything that can happen. The guide they meet on their first night seemed creepy so we are led to believe that he might have dark plans for this couple. The acting and cinematography are on par with many big budget films. Considering how few actors were in this movie the pace and foreboding music kept me on the edge of my seat. My husband & I went camping at Mt. Rainier in Washington State. We were in our early twenties and just like most young couples we were out to just enjoy the beautiful State Park. Fortunately I had been camping for many years & knew some of the do's & don't's. Our first night we had a nice dinner by the campfire and put the coolers a safe distance from the tent. We had a beetle convertible & figured that our coolers would be safer outside the car rather than inside. The coolers had latches that were difficult to open. In the middle of the night I thought I heard some heavy breathing & I woke my husband up to tell him but he didn't think it was anything to worry about. Minutes later I could not only hear load breathing but I smelled something really foul and I figured it was a bear so we just stayed quiet as the bear went past our tent. He went straight for our coolers which he could get open so he started throwing them against trees. This continued for what seemed like hours and then it stopped. In the morning when we came out of the tent the scene was surreal as there was food strewn all over and birds were now attacking the remnants. Both coolers were destroyed. We were told that a black bear had attacked several campsites and had been caught. We packed our stuff and went to a hotel. That was the last time I ever went camping. I now carry emergency equipment in my car along with a first aid kit. No one ever thinks that something horrible or terrifying is going to happen to them ....they are the ones that have the least chance of survival.
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Dunkirk (2017)
7/10
Dunkirk
30 August 2017
I didn't know much about the style of this film so I was open to any take on Dunkirk. Trying to imagine the fear of the sitting ducks at Dunkirk was well portrayed by the faces of the soldiers. Knowing that at any minute you could be shot the wait to leave the beach would have been painstakingly long. There was no real need for character building since there were overlapping stories & the purpose of each character was quickly understood with very little dialogue. There were times I wished that there were subtitles because it was hard to understand but even still the message was given with the eyes of the actors. Most of the soldiers were 17 or 18..just young boys who found themselves in a perilous situation and looking to each other for understanding of what they were experiencing. I really liked the movie, didn't care for the soundtrack and found it irritating when it would rise to a crescendo. This movie would appeal to history buffs like me & to fans of Harry Stiles. There were no real stand outs in the acting but I think that was the point...no lone wolf/ hero
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6/10
Max Irons shines in lead role...
21 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Both my parents were born in Ukraine. I learned about Holodomor when USSR fell . It was Stalin's genocide against Ukrainians. Opening scenes seemed like a was watching a play. It just didn't feel Ukrainian .. 1932 was an extremely difficult time for Ukrainians as Russians stole everything. Seeing people dancing on the screen with embroidered costumes wasn't realistic. It took too long to get to the main plot which should have been how the Russians were murdering villagers on Stalin's orders. Death, despair took its toll on the people The love story should have been secondary. It would have been a more powerful drama akin to Jewish holocaust films. The acting was brilliant and the actors were most likely chosen for their box office draw. I would have liked to see more actual Ukrainian actors in the leading roles and actual Ukrainian language spoken (with subtitles). There can be no mistake about this genocide of 10 million Ukrainians. It happened. Ukrainians have been ruled by the Poles the Germans & Russians. They want their own country but even as I write this Putin is hell bent on killing Ukrainians on a daily basis. He is clever & has soldiers without identifying uniforms or weapons so the world is not paying attention. I hope more people watch this movie & learn how horrible the Russians were and still are to Ukrainians.
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Joy (I) (2015)
7/10
More than I was expecting
20 August 2017
I was not drawn to Joy when it was first released because it just looked like a made for TV movie. I was surprised when Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance and still had no real desire to see Joy. Joy popped up on my new releases list on Apple TV today so I thought I would just watch the first 10 minutes to get an idea whether it would be watching or not. After 10 minutes I knew this was worth watching so my husband and I watched it and to both of our surprise we really liked it. Jennifer Lawrence was outstanding in her role as Joy. I've always thought Lawrence was an amazing actress since I saw her in Winter's Bone. She is the real deal. She is destined for more success with each film she is in. DeNiro is amazing as always. It is a wonderful story that should have received better reviews. I can understand why it wasn't a box office hit but it is definitely worth watching.
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Miss Sloane (2016)
8/10
Politics exposed
24 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The cast of superb actors first drew me to this story. Jessica Chastain delivers a brilliant performance as a ball busting strong woman who makes no excuses for her desire to win at all costs. She can handle criticism as well as she hands it out. There is no room for personal relationships when the only option is to win. I've long believed that the average American citizen really doesn't hold any weight when it comes to strong issues like gun control. It is owned by the NRA who back the members of congress by donating millions to the right campaign. The gun lobbyist rule the gov't. Why is this so important? I think it's because weapon manufacturers are so wealthy that there is not a more powerful lobby group that can ever change any laws no matter how many innocent people are killed. It's all about the money. Nothing else really matters. John Lithgow & Sam Waterson once again prove their power in their performances. E Christine Baranski shines in her 2 minute cameo appearance. There's no doubt that movies like this one should be watched by all Americans but won't. Once an American chooses his/her political side..that party can do no wrong in their eyes. Politics is similar to religion...born into a mindset & brainwashed to believe that it is the only way that is right. The minions (civilians) are patted on their heads for voting the right way as the smiling senators live a life of luxury that few of their voters could ever dream of living. Until people educate themselves on how the system really works to benefit the rich it will never change. The rich are getting richer on the backs on the poor civilians. The joke is that they don't even know how they are being used to line the pockets of the corrupt.
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Life in Pieces (2015– )
9/10
Pure Brilliance...
20 July 2017
I'm a hard person please when it comes to comedy but Life in Pieces has me laughing out loud. The cast is perfect...the writing is brilliant. Haven't seen James Brolin in anything for quite a while & never knew he was a natural comic. Colin Hanks is just as versatile in his comedic talent. I don't it would do him justice to compare him to his Academy award winning father but to say that he has inherited his father's talent is an understatement. This ensemble of brilliant performers gets it right. Guest appearances only add to the enjoyment. The subject matters that are dealt with hold so true to life & that makes it even more enjoyable. So glad I stumbled on this TV show...especially since I've been hit by a horrible flu & this has definitely lifted my spirits.
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9/10
Cruel Intentions & cover ups
25 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
/another heartbreaking story about abuse of boys in an orphanage. What those poor boys went through is unimaginable. How any human can treat a child so brutally is beyond belief. Physical (rape) & mental abuse day after day would be enough to turn a any child into a angry hating & mentally unstable one. We are never told at the end if any of the abusers were brought to trial and punished.
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American Crime (2015–2017)
9/10
Brilliant Account of What is Really Wrong in America
20 June 2017
It took me a while to really get into this series but I'm so glad I stayed with it....It is a dark revelation of how far the US has spiralled into a dark place where a gun is seen as the only solution. Each story is a gut wrenching look into how one act can lead to hysteria, distrust, racial tensions, anger, hate...everyone blaming each other. Dark secrets are revealed, hurt so profound that breathing becomes difficult. There are so many morals and lessons that can be made if you keep an open mind.
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8/10
Maggie Smith is Simply Brilliant
7 January 2017
Stumbled upon this British movie by chance. What a pleasure to see Maggie Smith perform her craft so brilliantly. She never seems to fail to lift a film to such a high level of excellence. The story itself is mysterious from the beginning as we are led to wonder how she ended up homeless & living in a van. Some greet her with compassion and others with disdain. Alex Jennings as Mr. Bennet is equally as brilliant as a caring & kind writer along with his alter ego. How sad that only with death do those who could have given her some compassion in life only show up when she least needs them. In a perfect world I would only wish that people would care about the elderly and realize that they have many life stories that are worth listening to and not just discard them because they can not move as quickly and perhaps need someone who thinks that they even the elderly have a purpose. We will all be old someday....if we're lucky.
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Allied (2016)
7/10
Love in the time of war
16 December 2016
I had such high hopes for this movie. Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard are outstanding actors so it was a win win for me to go see this historical movie. I was drawn in right from the moment the two of the lead characters meet in Morocco. Pitt hardly had any lines at the beginning of the movie and after 10 minutes I knew why. Unfortunately as good as he is he just couldn't get the french accent believable enough to fool me let alone a french person from France. His Quebecois french was just as cringe worthy. Somehow the two just didn't seem suited to each other as lovers either. The chemistry just wasn't there. I often wish I could assist in selecting the actors. Brad Cooper, Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Jackman all speak french & would have been some of my choices. Marion Cotillard held her own as she always does. In the end I have to say that I liked the movie...just think Brad should have been sitting beside me watching it instead of staring in it.
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Arrival (II) (2016)
2/10
Not a sci-fi fan
23 November 2016
I was hoping this was as exciting as Alien which is one of the only sci fi movies I liked...not even close. It was almost as boring as Contact. I could have fallen asleep during this movie it was so slow. Amy Adams is a great actor as are Jeremy Renner & Forest Whitaker. Their talents were wasted on this film. There are so many groan moments...oh please...like Amy Adams speaks to someone in Japanese but later that same person speaks perfect English. The first spaceship we see looked like a huge chicken egg...I was thinking a big chicken was going to pop out of it....that made me chuckle to myself. Talk about stereotyping Americans as looters...Japanese & Russians as antagonizers. I should have listened to the guy who told me to go see The Accountant instead of Arrival. Oh well....at least it was cheap tuesday...
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A Single Shot (2013)
4/10
Interesting but too many annoying issues
8 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Sam Rockwell & W. H. Macy are 2 of my favourite actors so despite the low ranking I watched it. It just made no sense to me. If Moon is a "good" guy why didn't he report the incident to the authorities instead of putting a body into a garbage bin? Everyone in town knows he's broke so why would he start throwing money around? W.H. Macy's role was more of a cameo than an actual part. The most annoying part of this movie was the mumbling dialogue and screeching violins. In summery is it a sad portrayal of a backwards small town USA making everyone look like low life scum. I would not recommend this movie to anyone who isn't a huge Sam Rockwell fan. Despite some great actors being in this movie....they couldn't lift it up enough to make it worth watching.
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9/10
Brilliant
8 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
An amazing account of one man's struggle to get the medicine he needs to survive despite having full blown AIDS. DBC is an honest portrayal of how anyone who is "different" is hated and rejected in society. It also shows the desperation of so many infected men who are willing to pay to get medication because if they don't they will die. No one cares about these people. Especially the gov't officials who are making the decisions on what drugs can be approved and who can have access to them. Matthew McConaughey is as brilliant as ever. The big surprise to me was Jared Leto. I first saw him in Lord of War and thought he was great in that role. In Dallas Buyers Club I didn't even recognize him. He definitely deserves the best supporting actor for his role as Rayon. Dallas Buyers club should do well at the Academy awards this year. Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor would be well deserved.
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