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A few reviews
You Don't Know Jack - 2010 - 7/10

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Al Pacino quite good as Jack Kevorkian, US physician who assisted 120 suicides.
With Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Danny Huston, and ... if you are over 40 ... Brenda Vaccaro.
By turns funny, provocative, infuriating, sad.
Includes 10 minute documentary with cast & Dr. Kevorkian himself.
If I got a debilitating, agonizing disease I would want an exit option.
Might not take it, but I would want it available.
Overlong at 2 hours 14 minutes.
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Sex, Chips And Rock N' Roll - 1999 - 6/10

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Coming of age mini-series.
Sisters Arden and Ellie fall in the path of The Ice Cubes, a rising pop group in the early 60s.
Wistful recollection of Eccles, with an irresistible song selection and youthful performances.
Nice layers of multiple generations conflicting, as well as surprising class misconceptions.

I found this quite by accident when looking for other work by James Callis (aka - The Wolf, aka - Gaius Baltar).
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Internet'€™s Own Boy - 2014 - 7/10

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Poignant documentary of Aaron Swartz, prodigy and Internet activist.
Swartz was part of the team who developed RSS web feed code (he was 14 at the time) and was instrumental in developing CC (creative commons copyright).
He landed in prosecutorial crosshairs after uploading public information and knowledge that private corporations were charging for.
Perhaps his shining moment was rousing public opinion against the SOPA bill which was considered a done-deal.
Everyone who uses the Internet is indebted to him.
Film very good about showing what Swartz did, and one got a good feel for his personality.
Narrative brutally honest about Federal agents intimidating and coercing Swartz’s  friends during interrogations.
No punches pulled when showing overzealous prosecutor, as well as dubious souls who have never been prosecuted (big bankers, a couple of familiar software guys), but stops short of highlighting MIT involvement and lack of intervention.  Swartz might well be alive today had MIT acted better.
Very well done.  Inspiring.  Sad.
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Great Passage - 2013 - 7/10
AKA - Fune wo amu - or - 舟を編む

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Within the publishing firm, the sales division is only too happy to transfer their worst salesman to the dictionary division - considered career death.
Once there, the nebbish bookworm excels and gradually rises through the small ranks.
The updated edition, titled The Great Passage, takes 15 years of checking, cross-checking, verifying, re-verifying definitions and meanings before it finally reaches publication.
As the world passes from print to digital.
Not altogether dull, though story moves at its own leisurely pace.
By any standard, extremely geeky.
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Peindre ou Faire l'amour - 2005 - 5/10
AKA - To Paint Or Make Love

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Guy retires, lives in the city, worries about getting bored.
His girlfriend, out one afternoon painting in rural oblivion, is approached by the blind mayor and given a tour of a house for sale.
Next beat, the guy and his girlfriend buy deserted pastures manor and move to the woodlands.
In other films, this would be slasher setup. Not here.
The pair befriend the mayor, his girlfriend, and, for reasons unexplained to viewers, lose their moral compass.
As in, they become “swingers,” mostly one gathers, because they suffer ennui.
Sorta like the energy they put into their performances.
Anyway, attractive visitors soon appear and disrobe. Yes, start thinking of prospects in the Ozarks, or Everglades, or Outback, or Yorkshire in winter. Move yourself to Provence for more appetizing riders.
Well photographed, pretentious fantasy.
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My Old Lady - 2014 - 6/10

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Ha! Beware of the free lunch. The surprise gift.
Or, in this movie, the inheritance.
Destitute Yank spends his remaining funds to fly to Paris to see the property his father willed him.
Several floors, nice grounds, worth a fortune - with a catch.
A viager. The former owner, who lives as resident and receives a monthly payment of €2000 from the new owner.
For Americans, think reverse mortgage.
One might predict all sort of comic implications, but no, this darkens into serious drama territory.
The whole film smacks of theatre boards, which is just what it was.
Mostly a two set play with the stone broke American, the elderly British resident, and her daughter.
Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas.
All scratching to clutch tight to the property.
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San Francisco 2.0 - 2015 - 6/10

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Documentary by Alexandra Pelosi.
For non-USA residents, she is the daughter of ex House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Straight off, I braced for a “message” so was not surprised.
Doc charts affluent developers of the Bay city versus poor folks being squeezed out.
Note image above. Everything is disposable. Even a legendary ballpark.
By and large, the poor are renters living on rent control.
Landlords want to quadruple rent for rich Millennials working in burgeoning tech firms.
Never mind that so many are start-up unicorns.
Talking heads (Robert Reich, Jerry Brown) cite vanishing diversity, class inequality, diminished opportunities . . .
Sure, boss, whatever. Landowners always want top return, tax man wants higher property taxes, eager young adults will pay for trendy.
How quick do you think developers and City Hall can jerry-rig the system?
Lower orders, if your education and work skills are inferior, then your pie shall be humble.
Been that way since Caesar.

Aside - I have visited San Francisco regularly for over a decade.
Political liberalism aside, the true power brokers always strike me as conservatives.
Folks often praise diversity, while prize exclusivity.
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Vultural Wrote:You Don't Know Jack - 2010 - 7/10

[Image: alg_pacino.jpg]

Al Pacino quite good as Jack Kevorkian, US physician who assisted 120 suicides.
With Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Danny Huston, and ... if you are over 40 ... Brenda Vaccaro.
By turns funny, provocative, infuriating, sad.
Includes 10 minute documentary with cast & Dr. Kevorkian himself.
If I got a debilitating, agonizing disease I would want an exit option.
Might not take it, but I would want it available.
Overlong at 2 hours 14 minutes.
Agreed - a very good movie that could have been great with a quarter-hour trimmed out.




Vultural Wrote:San Francisco 2.0 - 2015 - 6/10

[Image: 25smvef.jpg]

Documentary by Alexandra Pelosi.
For non-USA residents, she is the daughter of ex House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Straight off, I braced for a “message” so was not surprised.
Doc charts affluent developers of the Bay city versus poor folks being squeezed out.
Note image above. Everything is disposable. Even a legendary ballpark.
Well, the demise of Candlestick is the NFL for ya more than SF, isn't it? Those creeps always go for the bottom line. ;-)

As I like to say, the main trouble with SF is that there just isn't enough of it to go around. The Golden Gate is named in homage to Istanbul, not the gold metal found in the inland mountains, because geography that spectacular is quite simply destined for greatness.

But, "2.0"? Psh - the City's gone through a lot more updates than that in its brief history.
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There is rather a sad sequence in San Francisco 2.0 doc where folks - black folks - being evicted from Pacific Heights or Doelger City (sorry, I don't know the lesser neighborhoods well) lament how tourists will not longer be able to view and appreciate urban street art. The murals.

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I was watching the show, shaking my head.
You guys are deluded, I thought.
Turistas - meaning middle class Americans, Europeans and Asians
ain't never going to venture that far out. They hit the major sites:
Fisherman's Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, Lombard Street, Chinatown,
maybe Alcatraz, maybe Union Square.
Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower, Golden Gate Bridge.
City Lights - ha ha, the traveling readers.
But neighborhood of "color"? No.
I go to North Beach every visit, and it is generally lean on guests.

Gaith, you were the only soul on the site I figured would instantly know the image I selected and why.
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Black Line - 1960 - 6/10
AKA - Kurosen chitai / 奇想活劇傑作選 石井輝男 黒線地帯

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Terrific little Noir from Japan.
Reporter is investigating underworld prostitution ring (the Black Line), and he is royally set-up.
One minute he is drinking with a pimp, next minute he wakes next to a strangled hooker, his tie around her throat.
From there, the pace shifts into high gear, as he tries to solve the mystery and elude police.
It’s great how so much gets packed into 80 minutes.
Murders, go-go dancers, drug smuggling, a rival journalist, near captures.
A procession of lovely, malicious, female distractions try to slow him down whenever possible.
Memorable fight inside either a mannequin warehouse or adult inflatable "female companion"€ warehouse.
Bluesy, raucous jazz score just heightens the experience.
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