Your reviewer is not correct right off the bat! (Small spoiler)
Erwin Rommel is hardly the one to blame for mistakes made by the Nazi's in the assumption that Normandy would be to blame for the landing there rather than at the Pas de Calais; that was the one thing that Ike Eisenhower and the command staff should receive great credit for all they did to deceive Hitler. Rommel is still characterized as the one of two geniuses in the Wehrmacht (the other being von Runstedt and his development of the Blitzkreig which was so successful in France and the beginnings of the fatal mistake of invading the Soviet Union. In fact, Rommel was convinced that just as in the Salerno invasion, the troops would come ashore in Normandy, and in so believing, he vastly made the invasion more deadly by increasing Normandy Beach hazards and in flooding the landing spots for airborne/glider landings. And this is a great film in spite of the fact that Tom Hanks simply has to play the very role of the great Hero, General Norman Cota, the eldest American on Omaha Beach and the leader of the breakout with such brave leadership and by using the rarely used Bangalore torpedoes to shatter the second strand of barbed wire and leading the troops to great valor with his leadership. My only regret about the film was the failure to credit General Cota somehow in the breakthrough to the murderous machine gun fire.
A gathering of leaders after WWI and the impact they caused!
The importance of this "virtual documentary" is a factual basis of the events over a year, with excellent portrayals of the leaders of the "winning" side in the First World War, although I use the conclusion that there were any winners rather loosely as the film so accurately portrays. The three most influential World leaders were Clemanceau of France, Lloyd-George of the English and the ill-fated President of the U.S. in Woodrow Wilson. In spite of the "10" rating which I have given, there are points of interest that I would have wished more emphasis. Short shrift was given to the "Map Makers" in the very beginning....those men assigned (obviously with the input of the leaders), who contributed greatly to future disasters in the Balkans, Yugoslavia and even in the Rhineland area of Germany where I spent three years in the military over fifty years ago and witnessed in many extensive travels, the travails resulting from the lack of foresight of said leaders who set Germany up for the arrival of Adolf Hitler by the monstrosity of their dismantling of a once proud nation led astray by that very same family of Royalty that led such diverse countries as England and Russia. Nevertheless, this is a Must See by younger generations who have no concept of the damage done in Paris leading to (twenty years later) a 1000 day occupation of this most lovely of cities and the irony of Hitler forcing a French surrender at Versailles in the same rail car used by the French to humiliate the German people who were fortunate to be untouched by the war itself while France suffered horrendously from the seemingly never ending trench warfare. Please understand that neither this film, nor I can defend the atrocities such as the first use of Poison Gas by the Germans, nor is it the purpose of the film to recreate the four years of horror on the fields of France and nearby neighbors, but an understanding of those three men and the many others who insisted that Germany pay dearly for their misdeeds. And the unseen Kaiser Wilhelm in his vanity is another flaw but of a minor key in subsequent historical impact that would all to soon engulf the entire World in yet another horror story. And to see the impact first hand will linger the few years that will be left to me to give witness to such tragedy. Tadeo38 in sad remembrance.
Far superior to the "Oceans" trilogy (a quote.....see below)
You cannot allow your Brain to go on sleep mode for a moment in this (who knows how loosely?) rendering of an infamous bank heist in early '70's London that was front page news one day....and gone the next, which I can only wonder what Brits thought of this oddity? I have borrowed a quote from James Berardinelli's excellent review for the above summary and I only hope you'll take a peek at this IMDb review. Jason Statham is perfect as a sort of "fast" Eddie, with the lovely Saffron Burrows to offer a counter point, there may be those who simply fail to have the intelligence to understand this complex tale that is a must-see for those who love a great heist action film. tadeo38
Granted that it was important to give the American folks at home (not serving in the military) the most patriotic message possible as I recall those early days of WWII when the headlines of the local paper had virtually nothing in the way of good news as we took one licking after another. But this film is just preposterous; in one scene, young aviator Ford leaves his training convinced that he had failed to make the grade and heads for South America to find his long unseen father (Pat O'Brien who was disgraced in WWI), and then in the next scene after being talked out of flying a shoestring outfit in S.A., he is now a prominent test pilot asked to undertake a dangerous mission in which a U.S. "Interceptor" flies at speeds in excess of 600 M.P.H. What poppycock....in actuality, the Army Air Corps and the Navy were delighted if they could find anything that could exceed 300 MPH. And to end the film, they just drop everything with absolutely no resolution to any of the subjects they have broached. A total waste of time.
Don't simply accept the Face Page description-see for yourself
The "Front-Page" review of this film gives the impression that it is not worth seeing "because the plot is wandering" and other unfair accusations. Instead, take a look at Roger Ebert's fine review under the External review portion of IMDb. I first purchased this film back in the days of the Laser Disc, and I know that my "ancient by today's standards" Pioneer player....and perhaps I'm in violation of copyright laws, but I am transferring all my laser discs to DVD, and I cannot possibly think of a finer film to witness the discriminatory laws that existed during the early days of WWII....even if the focus is on an Irish-American played by Dennis Quaid....and you must see the early scene in which he dances/sings to a Japanese song that he has memorized by his position as Projectionist in a Japanese-American theatre in San Francisco. And for those who might enjoy a Jarre/Barry type film score, this one is haunting and lovely. Ignore the reviewer and give this terrific film a chance, and I'll bet you'll love it.
Do you want to know whether or not this film is for you? Go to "External Reviews" and read James B's review which acutely points out that this is not a film for the little kiddies that would prefer lots of violence and explosions. It is a "thinking man/woman's" film, and the 2 & 3/4 hours fly by if you allow yourself to be absorbed by the all-important question: Was the OSS/CIA career path worth the life devoted to one's country. This is for the viewer to determine as DeNiro smartly decides to put aside his own more liberal politics, to allow the tale to flow. But I believe that "The Truth Shall Set You Free" eulogy needs to be well explored to understand this nation's politics.
A very emotional films with some very harsh lessons
The description currently being carried as the "Viewers Choice" is truly inaccurate in several respects, but does at least capture a pronounced need for an Intelligent Viewer to choose this film. First of all, it has virtually nothing to do with "Communication" but rather is based on (for the most part American) our total failure to understand other cultures. And secondly, the three tales are hardly suddenly wound together at the end....they are an integral part of the story-telling skillfully tieing the elements together very logically. The thought that it lacks the "soul" of Inarritu's two superb earlier works is simply not true; if anything, it carries a much more powerful punch and emotional impact. The one thing that struck me more so that anything else, is the ease with which the Director so seamlessly edits these stories in such a way that they viewer is easily transported through the three locales, which certainly could not be said of Clint Eastwood's earlier work in "Flags of Our Fathers" which was edited so poorly that he left most viewers frustrated and bewildered. A must see for those IMDb'ers that can handle the often sad consequences of actions which just happen to the various characters in ways in which they could not have imagined.
This documentary shown on HBO is the most difficult viewing need ever that I have witnessed; shown only from the viewpoint of the children present at the Beslan school with matter-of-fact commentary on such as an incident of a young girl telling of the "One nice Terrorist who (the only female terrorist) told the children that she would get water for the kids who had gone days without; at that point seeing her actions, the Terrorist leader detonated the bomb which was tethered to her....thus stopping her act of kindness. Many Post-Viewing thoughts, but the most prominent was asking myself how these children would survive psychologically as they grew into adulthood?
There might well be minor historical inaccuracies in this rare film, showing the Bravery & contributions of the Red Army in WWII, but as a Personal Witness to the aftermath while traveling through the old Soviet Union less than two decades after the event....being dumbstruck at the almost total absence of a generation of Males (not to mention the thousands of Russian women who fought alongside and gave their lives) in the 1941-1945 battle with a German Army to which Stalin had mistakenly given free reign in the belief that Hitler would be Honorable....this tale tells the turning-point of the horrendous Battle of Stalingrad as a small corps of Snipers led by Vassily Zaitsev (who's rifle I witnessed prominently displayed in the Kremlin Museum) gave their fellow countrymen Hope by their stealth in picking off, particularly Wehrmacht Officers in the Ruined City, eventually leading to the loss of a million German soldiers....who otherwise might well have been at Normandy in what might well have crippled our own efforts to successfully engage our troops in Continental Europe.
I just totally love this Fox presentation, to me the best the Network has to offer....and Hugh Laurie is superb as the genius Diagnostician who hates to "face patients." But to be honest, once I got hooked, I had a terrible premonition that the show would not last....it is just far to literate, to sharply written, and thus would be over the head of the average viewer who would prefer the long-lived E.R. (which though chaotic and nerve wracking is still one of my own favorites). But lo and behold, just read that Fox has ordered an additional five episodes....so perhaps there is hope yet. But please, please give this truly intelligent Med Sleuth show a try. And bless those that do!
A curious film in so many ways; it is a truly gorgeous film, great cinematography and editing to keep it as tight as possible but there is something missing at his very heart! It will obviously win Oscars, this is just the niche that the Academy voters are looking for, and I'll bet that it makes a pretty penny....but it sort of reminds me of "The Last Emperor" which I have never felt deserved a "Best Picture" Oscar in that there is minimal involvement asked of the viewer and a feeling of Who cares??? I disagree that it is a "must-see" depending on how much time and energy is available to you, the viewer. I found the other major's of 2004 to be much more involving, particularly "Finding Neverland", Spanglish, Sideways and Closer. As James Berardinelli reports, Scorcese would seem to have lost something since "Goodfellows".
Do you know of the importance of the Film Editor to making a great film or to leave the best on the cutting room floor? Did you know that Spielberg & Scorcese will not let any Actor into the Cutting Room (but that Sean Penn will do so)....that earlier there were "Basic Rules" to editing but that the rules went asunder under the French "New Wave"! PLEASE: Ignore the low score and note that almost all viewers gave this documentary either a TEN or a one....and we all know that there is a small percentage of IMDb'ers that truly HATE films and will do anything in their zeal to burn their path of ignorance behind them in an effort to bring everyone to their level of ignorance. How sad to disdain our basic need to learn about life and specifically to learn about what make a Great Film what it will become.
Over many years, I have read the "User's Review" selected by the staff at IMDb to represent a film. Admittedly, I've even had a couple of my own short reviews selected to use....but all too frequently, the review I find as the initial reference to a film is the most insidious, the absolute untenable....most idiotic selection that could be possible. Read Jim Berardinelli's review, or better yet, that of Roger Ebert describing "A Japanese Story" as a beautiful portrait of how a totally mismatched pair of human beings can connect in a meaningful way that would last a lifetime. The reviewer obviously has never even heard of Toni Collette....a Star of International proportions and has the gall to find her performance as acceptable. I question why I continue to participate in IMDb when I see something so repulsive as this review.
Better than six stars, definitely not for everyone
I can truly understand Mr. Monserrat's dislike of the ending; I love everything Soderbergh has done and truly admire his risk-taking efforts though I would agree that the ending is surprisingly upbeat and rather goes against the grain of everything that comes before. "Solaris" requires great patience and intelligence and will not be for the "Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights" crowd. But moreso than any other film I've seen this year, it gave me pause to consider those moments in life which we would take back if that were somehow possible....the careless disregard, a glib but ignorant statement carelessly made to a loved one in a thoughtless moment or a poorly crafted effort to cause hurt. Like Joel Siegel, I wanted to stand and applaud, like Ebert, I found myself in deep reflection....I will see it again! I am disturbed however, that after seeing the film at 11 A.M. on its opening day, that Imdb had 77 votes just fifteen minutes later, many of them "one's"....and I must question the honesty of such participation even though I repeat that the film is not for those who are intellectually challenged. And yes, I found it vastly superior to the original Russian film of the same title.
Please...a show devotes its first half to a non-stop overflowing toilet? This is the sort of slapstick used when a poor writing staff has zero creativity (and how stupid would you have to be to not know that the flow would stop as soon as the valve beneath is closed???) Thank goodness, my faith was redeemed last night with "Leap Of Faith" not surprisingly from a part of the creative team of "Sex & The City". Sorry Julia, I adore you but this mess cannot survive six episodes.