Film Reviews by AW

Welcome to AW's film reviews page. AW has written 6 reviews and rated 94 films.

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The Purging Hour

Better Technique Might Help

(Edit) 01/11/2016

I wanted to watch a scary film, but the shaky camera technique used in most "found video" like this one, was so badly done that I just couldn't watch more than 15 minutes of it. My cat could have held a video camera better! Are we also supposed to believe that people use video cameras and not mobile phones now? Hardly. I'm not sure how it measured up as a horror film, but just watch Paranormal Activity instead. Much better.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Kotoko

Trying Too Hard

(Edit) 04/10/2016

I found this movie a bit incomprehensible and I'm a fan of Asian Horror films. I would call it more a portrait in abnormal psychology more than a horror film. Kotoko is an extremely disturbed young mother who is inexplicably courted by a popular novelist. First, one wonders how such a woman would be allowed to wander the streets, let alone have a child. Then, one wonders how anyone could be intrigued enough to want to have a relationship with her. The fact that she sings well is incidental to the movie and adds nothing to the plot. If you want to see great horror, rent Old Boy instead.

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American Sniper

The Horrors of War

(Edit) 04/10/2016

I found American Sniper to be another nuanced and balanced film by Clint Eastwood and one that did not look away from the horrors of wartime. Chris Kyle is an ordinary and typical Texan who finds that the event of 9-11 spur him into wanting to protect America against the terrorist threat that visited our shores so suddenly. In the aftermath of that event I witnessed many who had similar feelings and pursued similar actions. The fact that Kyle happened to be good at shooting was part of his military training and a job that he had sworn to carry forth into war zones. Every military person is trained to do a job and to do it without question. If someone has issues with that procedure they should NOT join the military and should definitely not judge someone who has.

The fact that war takes a toll on a person, especially one who does 4 tours of duty, is not surprising. Kyle personally had to witness the barbarity of a culture that used women and children to fight their wars for them; who thought nothing of putting others in harms way to make their political points. Every nation that went to war in WWI and WWII had similar snipers and similar tales of horror and similar men and women wrestling with their consciences about their jobs. Chris Kyle is not the first nor the last of such men and women.

This movie is based on ONE man's story and is not supposed to represent every man or woman who goes to war. As a film I found it worked with a coherent story and a very sad ending.

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Flight

Unexpectedly Good

(Edit) 07/08/2015

I had no idea what this was about when I rented it. But I like Denzel Washington and I like films about airplanes, so I thought it would fit my interests.

First, Denzel Washington was, as always, thoroughly committed to his role and did an excellent job. I found myself rooting for him, even though he lied repeatedly. But this is what alcoholics do about their alcoholism.

Second, it is a movie with a spiritual message and some heartily dislike that. I find it disheartening that Hollywood cannot find anyone to portray people of faith as anything but loonie tunes in the making. The co-pilot and his wife were a bit much. I came from an evangelical Christian background and no one ever sounded like that when talking about God. No one I know does. If you want believability; rent the Apostle with Robert Duvall. He portrays a man of faith with feet of clay like the rest of us. In Flight, the man with cancer in the hallway of the hospital ward sounded more authentic. As a morality tale, I find it perfectly believable that those with addictions find their help in a Higher Divinity. Nothing wrong with that and nothing to be ashamed of.

Finally, the movie was interesting and satisfying and that's all I ask a movie to be.

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Into the Abyss

Justice for No One

(Edit) 19/05/2015

Werner Herzog provides us with a slow, meandering look at a crime and the result of a crime; a death by lethal injection. I wouldn't say it's the most compelling documentary I've ever seen. There are huge gaps and missing pieces information that would have helped us at least feel attuned to the speakers on the screen. What were we supposed to take away from viewing this? That the death penalty is wrong? That the state these hard time criminals come from is poor and depressed? That the family cycle of violence repeats itself? That victims and their families never win in the end unless a life is taken? The most disturbing thing about the whole film was listening to the unrepentant but 'born-again' murderer say that he forgave everyone for 'murdering' him. Never once does he say he's sorry for murdering three people. Death just makes him a martyr in his own mind. It would better serve the community to make him sit in jail and think about what he's done for years on end until he dies a natural death in jail.

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Mother Joan of the Angels

Mother Joan and Father Joseph

(Edit) 18/06/2014

I would say that this film is a fine foray into cinematic chiaroscuro. Filmed in black and white and shot with enough close-ups to make Greta Garbo happy, we do have a masterpiece equal to the German or Danish offerings of the 1920s and 30s.

Father Joseph is sent into the monastery to investigate allegations of demon possession by a group of nuns. I assume Kawalerowicz has used Poland as his setting of choice rather than France and really it makes little difference to the plot. The nuns are beautiful in their new-found 'excuse' to find freedom in movement and expression. One can easily see the psychological ramifications of repression and cloistering if one isn't prepared for anything else. Forget gender issues here because we are stripped down to the questions everyone asks, 'What is of God and what is just our human nature'? Does prayer affect anything? Who can we trust; ourselves or authority?

Lucyna Winnicka and Mieczyslaw Voit are splendid as the lead actors and the scene between Fr. Joseph and the Rabbi is an excellent Dostoevskian play twinning play on philosophical discussion.

If you like arthouse cinema, I recommend it. If you like your movies in color, without sub-titles, and with a lot of action, you'll of course hate this film.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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