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Worst Film Ever.
I've rated over 2,600 films on Netflix, and this is the film I always think of as the WORST film I've ever seen. Ludicrous action scenes, idiotic dialogue, illogical story, laughable acting (even Robert Duvall wasn't taking this seriously). The story layers on melodrama in an attempt to give the characters motivation for their absurd actions, but it's not close to believable. They even cast Eddie Egan (the real life inspiration for the main character) in a minor role to give the film some credibility. They tried to cash in on the success of French Connection, but misfired on all cylinders. I don't know what film the previous reviewer saw, but this one is on the Top Ten Turkey list, all time.


A tough test in a long film
I saw "Stalker" yeas ago, and what I remember most about is it

has the longest takes I've ever seen. I recall scenes that go on for

what must be fiveto ten minutes of the three characters, facing into

the camera, walking through what looks like huge drainage pipes,

with nothing changing.

The entire movie is composed of shots like these. Long static

shots of characters that look tense and claustrophobic, and after

the first hour, that's exactly how I felt. If this is Tarkovsky's scheme,

he suceeds very well. The visual imagery is very limited and the

characters don't say much, so there isn't a lot there to cling to.

The film becomes a test of endurance, as the audience effectively

becomes a character in the story, trying with the very act of will to

bring about a change in the atmosphere. Tarkovsky seems to be

implying that change and success can only be brought about

through patience, fortitude and suffering. That's fine, but I don't

necessarily need to go through that to get the message.


Unforgettable and beautiful, a powerful cinematic experience.
Unforgettable fable of Inuit culture, handed down a thousand years through oral storytelling and here rendered through digital video to the big screen. Nearly three hours, and not a dull moment, the film is so full of utterly foreign details of Inuit life that one's attention never flags. The story of love, betrayal, deceit, revenge, and ultimately, forgiveness, that seems simple at first, becomes complicated with all the intricacies of human interraction, which apparently hasn't changed much, over continents and time. The performances by a largely non-professional cast are natural, completely convincing, and powerful in their understated, unemotional way which one can only assume is natural to Inuit culture. This is a film of Shakesperean poetry and dimension, timeless and true, full of visuals and vistas that are startling, profound, and beautiful: Vast washes of snow that undulate like an ocean, bizarre Inuit fighting rituals, the slaughtering and consumption of animals, the endless variety of fur clothing. Faces that seem indistinguishable at first, become as familiar and unique as your own family by the film's rich and satisfying end. It takes some time to grasp the relationships and time leaps of the story, but it all comes together when it has to, and we are never rushed to make sense of it all. A truly unique and poweful cinematic experience.

American Playhouse: A Flash of Green
Episode 11, Season 5

Brilliant character story, not to be missed
I love this movie. It represents some of the very best work of Ed Harris, Blair Brown and Richard Jordan. Aside from that, the story is intelligently written, and intrinsically American. A cynical, bored reporter is hired by a friend and ambitious real estate speculator to publicly smear a group of conservationists who stand in the way of a big land deal. The drawback is, one of the group is a woman the reporter is in love with. He agrees in order to protect her. When things become violent, he confesses his sins, and goes public with his schemes, exposing the real estate swindle. He regains some measure of his pride, and takes a series of brutal beatings in the bargain. In the end his persistence is rewarded, in some measure. Few movies take the time to explore characters as deeply as this one, and offer heroes as complex and flawed, yet still redeemable. The movies moves slowly, at the pace of the Florida landscape it portrays, but it never flags. The characters are absorbing, and the conflicts between them are always intriguing. Victor Nunez's photgraphy and subtle emphasis on mood and insight make for a very moving and thought-provoking film experience. Don't miss it. And take your time watching it. This film isn't about action and plot. It's a lot closer to real life than we've come to expect in film.

The Carey Treatment

Coburn carries it
I remember seeing this movie when I was a kid and really liking it. At the time, a doctor-as-detective story was an original idea, and Coburn carries it off with typical aplomb. Blake Edwards has directed thrillers before ("Experiment in Terror") so it's not like he doesn't know what he's doing here. At the time abortion was a pretty hot topic, so a thriller on the subject was fairly touchy. It all may seem a little too "hip" now, but I'd give it at least 3 stars.

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