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Old 1 Week Ago   #471
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Denial

Denial - 2016 - 7/10



Drama of Holocaust writer, Deborah Lipstadt, vs Holocaust denier, David Irving.
Fairly accurate retelling of the seeds of the conflict, legal strategies, then the case before the High Court.
Weisz as Lipstadt, irritating throughout. Impulsive, easily baited, rubber-necking during proceedings.
Her portrayal feels “based on”. Writer’s heavy hand or directorial flourish.
Other than her version, everyone else excelled.

I am almost finished with an extremely lengthy “revisionist” documentary so was familiar with Irving and many of his assertions.
Unsettling notion that history can be utterly rewritten, especially as society loses cognitive function.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #472
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The History Of Christianity

The History Of Christianity - 2009 - 6/10



Six part series on the early years, spread, and diversity of one of the planet’s youngest religions.
For me, the first three episodes were the most enjoyable:
The earliest beginnings, pagan Rome going Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy.
After that, the Protestant schism, missionary work in the New World, Pentecostal in Korea.
Conquistadors? Inca, Aztec, Maya? Massacre, what are you talking about?
None of that mentioned.
Oxford history don, Diarmaid McCullough, is an engaging host, but he is more guarded and careful in his thoughts and presentations as the series progresses.
The energy steamed away.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #473
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Miss Mend

Miss Mend - 1926 - 6/10
AKA - Мисс Менд



Four hour, Silent serial from Soviet Union. Three, long-as-hell chapters that should have been chopped to 12.
Miss Mend is a typist who witnesses a strike over at the Rocfeller Cork Factory!
Also watching are members of the press: journalist, photographer, office boy.
Male trio is box o rocks dumb (call ‘em Dimwit, Halfwit, and Nitwit) but the yarn is more them, less Mend.
The group get mixed up with this rich swell who wants to donate his fortune to the Bolsheviks.
However, a powerful Capitalist agency wants to thwart him.
Worse, massacre thousands of innocent Russians!
Story - mostly set in (CCCP’s version of) the US of A - is fast moving but jumps all over kingdom come.
Good luck keeping track of motivations and who’s on which side.
Fairly casual death count in this, without flinching from suffering the smallest.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #474
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House Of Horrors

House Of Horrors - 1946 - 6/10



Diverting B-thriller with a solid Noir / Expressionistic look.
Outsider sculptor (failed artist) rescues large man from river.
Inspired by his grotesque features, the artist uses him as model for his Neanderthal piece.
He rants about unappreciative critic, not knowing his new friend is actually a psychotic killer.
Still ... no one likes critics, now do they?
At barely an hour, the plot chugs along swiftly. Pleasant 40s era cheesecake a bonus.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #475
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Face-Maker

Face-Maker - 2010 - 5/10
AKA - フェイスメーカー



Plastic surgeon who used to work for the US Witness Protection Service now changes faces for the desperate.
The only price “... is your old face!”
Unhappy or on-the-run souls find the black market “Face-Maker” and persuade him to “rebirth me!”
New identity = problems solved. Sometimes ... sometimes not.
Half hour, single shows. Mid-episode, the surgeon finds the patient and gives them a -
“So how’s it going?” speech, followed by, “Oh, by the way, I just sold your old face."
Late night J-doramas usually air midnight or later. Many are dreck, a few very good, this is middling.
Low production values, generic plots, acting fair to amateur.
Non-demanding time waster.

Despite my shrug of a review, I, nevertheless, reworked existing subtitles for this show.
Steamlined dialogue, Westernized grammar, fixed tense errors.
Full credit given to original subber.
My subs can be found -
http://www.addic7ed.com/show/6671
or
https://subscene.com/subtitles/face-maker
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Old 3 Days Ago   #476
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Love Is All You Need

Love Is All You Need - 2012 - 6/10
AKA - Den Skaldede Frisør



Young couple (English - Danish) opt to marry at his family villa in Italy.
Girl’s mother, recovering from cancer therapy, discovers husband shtupping flexible replacement.
Boy’s father still has not gotten over his wife’s death.
Surely they will be too preoccupied to take note of each other.
Elements for soapy romance align.
Add coastal scenery, breezy directorial style, light comic touches.
OK date night flick in Danish and Italian, though Mr Brosnan speaks English throughout.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #477
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Lo And Behold

Lo And Behold - 2016 - 5/10



Rare misfire, at least for me. from Werner Herzog.
Interesting opening about the start of the Internet. And no - no Al Gore claiming credit.
Then Herzog hops about from inter-connections, privacy issues, security problems, megalomaniacs ...
Topics have been covered in numerous documentaries, and better, too.
This is watered down Readers Digest.
One particular section was of some folks “allergic” to radio waves, living in West Virginia.
Kicking back, playing ole timey bluegrass.
Completely out of place - that dog don’t hunt.
Another odd speculation - does the Internet dream of itself? If so, does your fridge?
Of course, this could be Mr Herzog's peculiar sense of humor.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #478
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Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic - 2016 - 6/10



Survivalist, home schooled family climbs into the van and heads to the city for Mom’s funeral.
Cultural encounter between “visionary” family and the “ordinary” American world.
Well educated children who have learned to process knowledge vs No Child Left Behind.
The physically fit tribe surrounded by gassy, sugary waddlers.
A bit one-sided, more so idealistic, aimed to please an audience of parents.
Aspects of non-social skills barely hinted at, nor is the reality of how they fund their lifestyle.
I enjoyed this while watching, immediately second-guessed once credits rolled.

Note: I have witnessed and worked with home-schooled kids, some of whom suffer abysmal social skills.
Note: I fully understand why home-school parents do not want their children in public school.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #479
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Russia 1917: Countdown To Revolution

Russia 1917: Countdown To Revolution - 2017 - 7/10



Compressed telling of events leading up to the Bolshevik revolution.
Narrative begins 239 days out, until time collapses to "Zero Hour."
An unlikely takeover of power, a nation, and history.
Talking heads propel the facts, but they frequently disagree.
Modern reenactments are used sparingly for Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Kerensky.
Remainder of the visuals are period newsreels and Silent era footage.
Those Silent films were especially useful, as they were accepted as history.
Many of the declarations by participants were taken as factual and believed.
Worthwhile viewing, though lacking depth and not without flaws.
For example, one of the speakers opines that this is where "fake news" begins.
Sorry, as long as humans have breathed, they have deceived.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #480
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A Dangerous Fortune

A Dangerous Fortune - 2016 - 5/10
AKA - Die Pfeiler der Macht



German adaptation of Ken Follett's Victorian / Edwardian twaddle.
Young boy is taken in by relatives after his father commits suicide rather than face financial ruin.
In due time, he is a rising star at the family business, the bank.
Revolutionaries, gambling, drinking, murder, fraud and bodice ripping spice the first half.
Second half is dreary love triangle and general whining. Soap opera.
German take on gaslit England is interesting, but seems too modern in many regards.
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