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Just skip it
Don't be conned by the 9+ reviews--this film is BAAAD!

Besides the low production value and so-so acting, I found myself questioning the entire basic premise. The gene for violence has been discovered and is based on the bloodline of Judas Iscariot. Except, violence was around PLENTY and long before Judas, and his crime was betrayal.

Now if we're talking the root of human-on-human violence, my bet would be Cain, cuz ya know, he committed the first murder by killing his brother.

That's just me though, I'm no biblical scholar :-/

Where Hands Touch

A touching film that shines a light on stories you never hear about.
I questioned whether or not to watch this since there was some hoopla around its release, but decided to give it a go....VERY glad I did. It's a beautiful and touching film that quite frankly, shows another perspective of those under the rule of Nazi Germany. The cast is superb and did a wonderful job--nothing felt over the top, cliched or stereotypical.

It's apparent based on the ratings that there's some bias here. Because with all the low ratings, no one seemed willing to explain WHY in a review. Was it false? Did it misrepresent events or was it historically inaccurate? That doesn't seem to be the case since no one bothered to expand on why.

What I'll say is this--there are MANY stories to be told about this period and this is the first time I've seen anything address the plight of bi-racial children in Germany at this time. The first I'd heard of it was reading about Hans Massaquoi --former Managing Editor of Ebony magazine--a bi-racial child (African father, German mother) who, in his own words, "yearned to be a Hitler Youth." Of course, being a child he had no idea what it really meant and how his German identity was about to be tested. But beyond that, stories like these are few and far between. Sadly, I suspect this very departure from "the norm" is why this film is being unfairly downvoted.

In a nutshell, there were many groups targeted under Nazi rule...we simply don't hear about them, short of some peripheral mention. And I commend Amana Asante for daring to tell this story, because within the black community (and others I'm sure) the backlash to this film was fierce, which is precisely why we need more films like these. Brava!


12-Yr-Old Girl Pretending at Hannibal Lecter. Doesn't Connect with Viewer.
Saw this on Netflix's line up and thought the plot sounded pretty interesting so gave it a watch. Dear GAWD I want that 80 mins back.

Is it low budget? Yes, but I didn't mind that. The fact that it's only shot in about 3 (4 tops) different spaces helped add to a rather tense and claustrophobic atmosphere which works. Was the acting great? Not really. :( Some were wooden, others overacted, while others still felt like they'd taken one-too-many sedatives. But still, I can let all that slide if I'm enjoying the experience.

So why such a low rating? The "star." The child. OH. MY. GAWD. I'm ashamed to say it but for the duration of the entire film (minus the last 5 mins--here I just rolled my eyes and said whatever), all I wanted to do was punch her repeatedly in the face. It was visceral and constant which in itself made me dislike this experience even more.

Firstly, it's like the director said watch Silence of the Lambs and then give us your best Hannibal Lecter. If you want to spend 75 out of 80 mins watching an 11/12 yr old (not even sure, nor do I care) be smug, bratty, insulting, obnoxious, superior and of course, "all psychic powerful" then you'll love this. Quite possibly the most unlikable child character I've ever seen on screen.

Secondly, it's one thing to have the 'baddies' that we're not supposed to like, but the director seemed to forget there was a redemption arc coming. Maaaaaaybe not the best idea to have the audience actively rooting for her to become a lab experiment instead of being let loose on society. Throw us a bone of some redeemable aspect! Instead, it relies on the psychologist to explain to us why she's doing what she's doing, what she's feeling, why this isn't her true nature etc. I couldn't feel any connection to her character that made me want to even TRY and understand, because she came across like a psychopath in the making anyway. Had there been a tiny break here or there in the facade, it would have changed everything.

Then the worst part was that in the last 5 mins, we get rushed redemption. The usual trope of "adult finally connects with hostile and troubled kid, kid breaks down and shows vulnerability, everyone sympathizes and sees kid's behaviour is only because of their hurt and trauma, kid is now actually good and not really demon spawn." If you're looking for Good Will Hunting feels after being subjected to the previous 70+ minutes of a PSA on why you don't want kids? Sorry, that won't be coming. You'd get more feels from The Omen. :-/

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

Not just "social housing" at stake.
I don't have tons to add since I believe 'landrum' captured it perfectly. What I took away from this film though, was how we're seeing similar things happen with your typical market rentals.

Currently in Ontario, the dogged determination to build every condo development in the Downtown core went from interesting to obscene over the last five years. If there's a patch of green somewhere, they're building on it. Tear down historic buildings and throw two 50+ monstrosities opposite each other on the same street.

The developers went as far as to band together and start running ads on TV and YouTube for their YIMBY (Yes, In My Backyard) campaign, as a direct counter to residents saying - NIMBY (Not In My Backyard). The ads themselves were too close in style to some Gov't of Ontario ad campaigns which felt like some sneaky, subliminal attempt to link the two.

The basic selling point is, "It's great to have all these new developments! It'll give people places to live that's closer to the economic hub, it'll stimulate the economy, it'll improve property values, etc. etc." Question is, HOW MANY PEOPLE do they think can afford a 400 sq. ft. shoebox starting at $450K??? No one disagrees that people need housing, but everyone knows they're cramming them into downtown Toronto because they can get the most $$$ for it, period. Location, location, location! No one (including our gov't) seems interested in providing standard apartment rentals for the regular Joe.

It's a safe bet to say 60-70% of the people working downtown, don't make enough to afford those properties. But with regular apartment buildings in limited supply now, there are bidding wars (it happened to a friend) on basic apartments. Property managements are harassing long-standing tenants out of properties because they're missing out on $600+/month increases. There are three seniors on my floor who've lived here for over 20 years and the things theycra receive eviction threats over are mind boggling!!!! Luckily, these seniors are fighters, but not everyone is.

Many of these condos are also "self-contained" with their own mini-malls, gyms etc. They don't integrate into the community (unless it's already high end)--they tolerate it. So now, the Tim Horton's employee working 60hrs a week downtown has to trek to the far reaches of the city and hope to *maybe* find a crappy basement apartment. Because yes, with regular rentals in short supply, these are now worth $1,200+/month with landlords doing the bare minimum....because what choices do renters have? But ya, keep selling us the story about how they're doing a public good and providing housing "for all."

It's a disgusting money grab from developers and government alike. That's why this film resonated with me so much. It's not just about developers and tenants, or gov't housing vs. regular rentals. It's about the haves vs. have's a scary place to be.


Soul-less. Confused. Loud. Disappointing.
Being an avid war film fan, I was beyond excited seeing the trailer for Dunkirk and couldn't wait until it hit theatres. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. By the end of the film, I was actually mad.

I have to agree with some of the reviewers here who've stated that many of these glowing reviews are paid for, because what they're describing isn't even the same film.

Before the artsy-fartsy daggers come out--no, I don't need tons of backstory to feel invested in the characters. It's war, it's brutal, and I can surmise what it must be like for these brave souls. But when I come out the film and can't remember a single character's name (or worse, even care about them), that's just crap storytelling. Art should inspire a connection. This left me devoid of anything to be honest.

Scale...I may as well have been watching a tiny pocket of some soldiers, fighting some war, taking place somewhere. Part of what's so astonishing and inspiring about Dunkirk was its sheer scale. This insipid attempt to condense it to bite-sized POVs is insulting. You would expect at the end when the character (I literally can't remember his name) began reading Churchill's announcement to be roused by emotion. But since the film didn't generate any, and the delivery was so bland, it didn't even click with me what he was reading until I heard, "We shall fight on the beaches."

Lastly, a film doesn't have to be linear so I don't mind differing time lines. This however, was like some art-house, "look at how cool I play with time" film school project. I'm sorry...GAWD I'm sorry... but this was bad. I think about 100+ reviews explained why it doesn't work.

Storytelling has been used by our species for centuries to share POVs, be morality tales, entertain screaming kids who won't get the picture. NONE of that happens if your audience doesn't connect with the story. This was an experiment and indulgence. A $150M indulgence and waste of viewers' time and money. Shame on you.

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