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A few reviews
The History Of Christianity - 2009 - 6/10

[Image: HistChrist%202009.jpg]

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

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

[Image: LoveNeed%202012.jpg]

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

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

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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.
(11-11-2017, 05:00 PM)Vultural Wrote: The History Of Christianity - 2009 - 6/10

Hm, that was in my Netflix cue before I put my disc plan on hold. I'd definitely like to check out those first three eps someday. Ditto for Russia 1917, having just read a short New Yorker article on Stalin.


The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

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TV Tropes: "The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 World War II film directed by John Sturges (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven - this is his last one) and based on the book of the same name by Jack Higgins, detailing a fictional plot to capture or kill Winston Churchill by a group of German commandos. Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall star as the leader of the squad, their Irish nationalist liaison, and the German colonel in charge of masterminding the mission."

A fun war romp, somewhat let down by an absurd old-school sexist subplot. Possible quibble: one character posits that kidnapping Churchill won't win the war, but could help bargain for a better peace - but were top German officers so sure of defeat in the fall of '43, more than half a year before D-Day? I'm no expert, but it doesn't strike me as likely. Still, it's solid, classic action fare with strong perfs and realistic, easily followed battle tactics.

(My dvd is a non-anamorphic 4:3 transfer of the 2.35:1 movie. Weirdly, VLC Media Player doesn't seem to have a built-in 16:9 zoom, so I had to rip the disc, run it through such a filter in Womble, and then experiment with exporting it with a few custom dimensions to restore the native AR. Obviously, the results weren't up to HD snuff, but the cigarette burns (!) and general low-res look gave it a certain kind of charm.)

Wife Wanted - 1946 - 6/10

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Diverting potboiler about fading screen actress venturing into real estate.
The office works hand in hand with the next door lonelyhearts club.
Small fish waste their money in the dating agency, or fall prey to blackmail.
Real estate rubes are sold Arizona oil wells.
Film percolates along, though it is no great shakes.
This was Kay Francis' (30s Pre-Code siren) last movie.
The Trip To Spain - 2017 - 6/10

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Another in the series of "road movies" from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
As characters, they are growing on me.  Mind you, they continue to play scripted versions of themselves.
Anyway, this time they go to Spain to bicker and bait each other.
Gourmet food is an afterthought in this encapsulation of the series.
Meals might have more time in actual episodes, but this duo works better for me in small doses.
An acquired taste, though ruminations of aging and fleeting fame are slyly presented.
The Train (1964)

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TV Tropes: The Train is a 1964 World War II film directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, and Jeanne Moreau. The year is 1944 and the Allies are closing in on the Nazis in Paris. German Colonel von Waldheim (Scofield), an avid admirer of great art, secures a train to transport France's greatest paintings to Germany. The French Resistance, which includes SNCF area inspector Paul Labiche (Lancaster), are determined to make sure they don't lose their greatest artistic treasures, but they have orders from London to make sure the paintings are not damaged in the process.

A great film. Very loosely based on a true story, it's said to be the last major B&W adventure movie of its time. Lancaster is about the manliest damn man hero I've ever seen, and, somewhat amusingly, like Tom Cruise in Valkyrie, this Yank is Not Even Bothering With the Accent. Anyhow, the cinematography is stunning, glorious grayscale, and the story is gripping, and full of awesome period/accurate detail of rail switches being thrown, locomotive oil lines sabotaged, and repairs and replacement parts made in a hurry, even if a mid-movie elaborate subterfuge isn't quite credible. Paul Scofield makes for a terrifying Nazi villain; alas, this movie's production apparently soured him on film acting, though he did have a few more film roles. A must-see that blows George Clooney's similarly themed (and not terrible, just thoroughly mediocre) The Monuments Men out of the water.

sunshine (2007)

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with titles like dredd and ex machina to his name, writer alex garland is someone I should give the benefit of a doubt when considering entertainment options. so I sought one of his earlier films and came across an uneven mixture of thoughtfulness and whatthefuckness. one of its better features is purdy cinematography, to be sure.

story: space crew is to save mankind and much of planetary life.
problem: who chose this crew?

skor: 4/10

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