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Good drama, over the top machismo
Considering how difficult it is to produce a sports based drama this is a cut above. This is an exceptionally well put together series, the dialogue, writing and pace is good, acting is superb, However, keeping in mind that friction is an essential part of any drama, the hypermasculine, macho over-the-top behaviour and philosophy is just too much. As someone who's spent plenty of time around gyms and fighters, the portrayal of the men as old school warriors who don't feel pain or fear is rubbish. Most fighters don't carry on like 80's action heroes and one dimensional Neanderthals. Granted there are a few moments of vulnerability, but martial arts and men already have a bad reputation. We need to portray real men at a time in our culture when some feminists are pushing the narrative that we are all just brainless predators. It's just a critique worth noting in a top notch drama.

Ted Bundy

Unsanitized, Unpolished revealing story of the infamous killer
Writing this are review comparatively given recent safe, sterile, PC, victim feminist offerings about stories that dominated the previous generations imagination and discourse such as Lovelace, and other boring, shallow, trite features attempting to explore themes of Freudian bloodlust, sexual violence, morality, the role of justice, masculinity, femininity, visceral emotions dealt with and the consequences that are wrought upon an impersonal, uncaring, inattentive society have been rare indeed. This film flies under the radar I presume because it pays little attention, does not prostrate itself at the altar of feminist moral decency and instead boldly chooses to tell the story of Ted Bundy through, it seems, his eyes. His rage full, vengeful, twisted eyes, with the rest of the story covers various popular reactions from young women, the media, Bundy's girlfriend, and ultimately the bizarre inexplicable celebrity that followed him. I respect this film for not pandering, not playing it 'safe' as it were - Bundy is shown as the beast and the charmer - from one extreme to the other. This film offers what so few others dare to: a raw unapologetic story. Films with this level of explicitness are a dying breed, with a flurry of cold, stark, revealing stories such as Tim Roth's 'The War Zone', 'Nil by Mouth', 'Requiem for a Dream', 'Summer of Sam' peculiarly all being released during the turn of the millennium. Twenty years later, have we become too sensitive, too afraid to explore Nietzsche's 'Dionysian' part of human nature in 2020? It appears a valid question. Where are the new Aronofsky's? Tarantino's? Von Trier's?

The Wave

Slick trite
When stripped back of its pop-new-age spiritual messages usually found in the bargain basement section of self-help bookstores, this film is just a muddled sequence of all too familiar tropes.

Labor Day

Authentic character drama
This film offers an engaging, warm and enchanting backdrop for the story to unfold. This is not about high drama, police chases and a fugitive on the run - though this does serve to show real themes of human frailty, tragedy, loneliness, opportunities lost, love lost, and a coming of age story for the young son from which the perspective and occasional narration flow. Both Brolins and Winslets characters share a similar past: one of betrayal, disappointment, trauma - which leads to both experiencing forms of imprisonment; Brolins is actual resulting from a momentary crime of passion; Winslets from suffering multiple miscarriages leaving her psychologically and emotionally debilitated. Both also share losing a child. All three are bought together as a result of Brolin needing to seek refuge, and this is the unlikely circumstance that leads to the three forming a strong bond, whilst the son has doubts which are strangely delivered by an obviously mysterious, perverse and precocious young teen girl. They all decide to risk absconding with a plan to start over, but, as often happens in life, life conspires to dash the hopes of the struggling though that is not the end. One might call this a heartfelt drama with themes of redemption, hope, and renewal to mention just a few. For all the themes covered one might easily deduce this film to be trying to cover too much - however I found the pace and direction almost spot on. A rare gem.

Plagi Breslau

Same old formula, clichéd characters, just gender swapped
Ignoring the self conscious. 'androgynous' and surly lead with the angry lesbian look, I actually enjoyed the first half of this film as the direction was great, and the story was engrossing enough to keep me watching. Then the 'film by numbers' + political messaging takes over shoving ideology down our throats.

Much like the mess 'Red Sparrow' masquerading as a complex, high quality fusion of multiple genres including political and social commentary it ended up whacking us over the head with misandry, anti-Russian sentiment, and corruption in high level government.

With Plagues of Breslau, the second half of the film transforms into an advocacy for a misandrist, vigilante form of justice based on militant, victim feminisms most pervasive and effective universal narrative slogan on the male - female relationship paradigm: ' All men are perpetrators, women and children victims.' This film is so unbalanced that every male character who isn't subservient or helpful is portrayed as a selfish, corrupt, slob - the victims chosen by the murderer are all men, suggesting ONLY men are corrupt. Furthermore, the protagonist who is supposed to represent balanced, lawful justice is persuaded to join and cooperate with a murderess for whom justice by medieval torture is the only recourse. One cannot deny that the problems this film presents are very real - those in power disconnected and uncaring about those whom they are supposed to be responsible for, preferring to indulge in corruption. Where this film goes horribly wrong is representing this problem as a purely gender issue - ' the patriarchy' vs the oppressed victimised women blown out of such proportion as to be offensive. Anyone with half a brain knows such evils in society do not discriminate. 'Unbelievable' was another series which is part of a rising trend of misandrist drama. This is certainly worrying for me as a movie goer as I find the greatest films just like great art leaves room for the viewer to interpret meaning, otherwise it is propaganda pretending to be art.

The Pharmacist

The Problem is GUNS and POVERTY not DRUGS
I don't agree with people who turn their unresolved grief into a crusade that ultimately will affect other people's lives. Yes there are major issues due to the privatisation of healthcare, but there are people who genuinely need pain relief who are now denied it because health professionals are too frightened to prescribe adequate painkillers.

People are always going to take mood and mind altering substances no matter what society does.

The real essence of this problem is complex, but prohibition, incarceration, and the war on drugs has only served to become yet another profitable series of industries.

' America has gone from barbarism to decadence and skipped civilisation in between.'
  • Oscar Wilde

The Pharmacist

The Problem is GUNS and POVERTY not DRUGS
I don't agree with people who turn their unresolved grief into a crusade that ultimately will affect other people's lives. Yes there are major issues due to the privatisation of healthcare, but there are people who genuinely need pain relief who are now denied it because health professionals are too frightened to prescribe adequate painkillers.

People are always going to take mood and mind altering substances no matter what society does.

The real essence of this problem is complex, but prohibition, incarceration, and the war on drugs has only served to become yet another profitable series of industries.

' America has gone from barbarism to decadence and skipped civilisation in between.'
  • Oscar Wilde

The Imitation Game

History for the lazy
Outdated, erroneous, inauthentic, unrealistic narratives that attempt to force the simplified telling of the fallacy of 'the chosen one', 'the one who ruled them all'. Every area of history for no other reason than we still prefer our stories nice and linear, with clear heroes and villains. History told for the masses does great damage, as many will view this as fact. The truth is behind all the worlds great epochs, inventions, innovations, breakthroughs and so forth are almost exclusively the work of a group of people. The one thing that derives from a single person is religion, cults and systems that promise to fix and save us from that which it cannot. 'It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.' - Voltaire. 'The truth is rarely pure and never simple' - Oscar Wilde.

Red Sparrow

Another piece of feminist claptrap
A stellar cast is completely wasted on yet another overtly unrealistic story that tries to keep twisting the plot that it twists itself into over complexity and utter trite. Such in vogue political messaging devalues and ridicules real ideology because it is wrapped up in a contrived way - intelligent audiences will feel manipulated and insensitive to such bombast and Pomp attempting to pass as a high brow story or high political drama. One might call this popular new way of film the new propaganda - many shades of red and blue but overall just grey overcoat.

The Stranger

Another series ruined by political messaging
I won't write an extensive review here only to say I'm getting sick and tired of the underlying message in most film and T.V now that female empowerment is always justified no matter the means. It's ruining otherwise good series and sending the completely wrong message.


Dubious accuracy
Not surprisingly, all the 'veterans' have sung this films high praises which means that although some of them are discerning, ultimately they all crave the U.S 'kick ass' formula whether they admit it or not. The crux of the battle cane down to the Japanese admirals decision to either rearm his carrier fleet or immediately send them out with their bomber loads- a giant gamble given the U.S carrier force finally came out of hiding to try and intercept the Japanese battle group. Ultimately luck resided with the U.S who were able to inflict crippling damage on the flagship Japanese carrier group immediately giving the U.S the strategic initiative whilst the Japanese would remain unprepared for a major decisive engagement until Leyte Gulf. Whether this movie reflects that luck, not U.S tactical brilliance was responsible remains to be seen, but as we've seen many times before the U.S military has no problem bending the truth, ethics, or morality If it serves their greater good.

Paris à tout prix

Satirical failure
Paris or Perish doesn't deserve a well rounded, comprehensive, substantive review because it is as shallow as glitter. The entire 'films' premise is supposed to be an uplifting, quirky, cool, comedic presentation of the usual themes from the usual banal trite: Rags to riches, love, sex, friendship, glamour and a touch of heart warming soap. It's about as fulfilling as a music video-except it misses its mark.


Edgy dark thriller stumbles at the last
As with many great productions, there can be superlative writing, acting, score, cinematography, pace, tension and drama all working together to immerse a viewer in a visceral, emotive story such as 'Suburra'.

However, for some frustrating reason an unlikely deus ex machina is thrust into this plot at the final sequence-making one feel as if one has just entered a different film - a b-grade revenge action thriller.

The previous film up until the last five-ten minutes superb, it's strength lying in a sense that one is peeking beyond the veil of everyday pretence to a dark yet familiar underbelly.

Yet again cheap 3 act by-the-numbers themes of resolution, revenge by an ridiculous character ( possibly to please bloodthirsty feminists ), ending up cheapening and spoiling the whole piece. I'm glad not every director panders to frivolous political signaling because it's starting to ruin good stories. Go and watch the new ghostbusters or other trite.


Slick mediocrity
Although the central plot twist in this horror thriller is unexpected and quite clever, I couldn't prevent my eyes from rolling and my body from cringing. I won't bother with an in-depth analysis of the entire film other than to say it is a competent piece without being, or even approaching brilliant. All the elements are sufficient, however the horror effects seem to be becoming all too familiar. Some fans will recognise that it is isn't just the jump scares that can be repetitive and trite, but the overall look and motion of the 'supernatural' elements appear to be lifted straight out of the post-Ring horror effects textbook. The ending certainly begs viewers to watch in enough numbers to justify giving birth to a franchise. Overall this is a film that will suffice to please horror fans, though some will, like myself, feel the religious angle overdone and implausible. For the rest, it's not the worst way to kill a couple of hours.

La Casa de Papel

Polished but frustratingly confused pacing
This series has quite a lot going for it. The problem is, it doesn't quite know what it wants to be. A psychological heist- based thriller with in-depth characters or a character driven psychological heist based thriller. It keeps switching from the tension of the unfolding heist to lingering almost pointless exchanges between characters that left this viewer confused and frustrated. The sub-plot of cat and mouse between Raquel and 'the Professor was enticing and thrilling enough to keep me watching - up until the end of the first season. Then the logic and plot became too ludicrous to bare. After investing so much emotion into the success of the heist gang only to have it all predictably fall apart left me feeling empty and frustrated. I was hoping this series wouldn't cop out to the cliché of 'crime doesn't pay', particularly after developing the characters on both sides of the law as morally ambiguous, but I was wrong. Despite the slick production, innovative writing and some intriguing characters I was left with a feeling similar to extreme buyers remorse. I wanted my time back and felt utterly dissatisfied.


Great series with one unfortunate flaw
This a hard-hitting, graphic,well produced series that explores the experience of sexual assualt, primarily from the victims viewpoint and also via the investigators. It's terrible flaw despite some token soft and supplicating male characters, is that men are incapable, insensitive, and incompetent when dealing with victims. The only heroes who are competent are the two female leads. I tried to ignore this, but sadly this trope became heavy-handed and is becoming all too familiar.

Frontera Verde

Entrancing, haunting art that sadly sells out
The first half of this series combines enchanting cinematography, score and an appropriate pace to lure the viewer into a series that feels unique, and original. However, at the half way point it falters and for some reason descends into trite, predictable, formulaic, tacky storytelling that almost ruins the entire series. How other viewers on here are so easily manipulated makes me sick, as in the case of the 'Spy', an Israeli-Mossad propaganda film. Great production values, edgy music, and great cinematography ought not to be substitutes for lazy 'everything is connected', 'good v evil' trite tropes, popular, lowest common denominator storytelling. Did not Leni Riefenstahl's 'Triumph of the Will' prove that long ago?


More cliches than a hallmark card
I wanted to like this low budget, gritty prison drama as I recognised that at least the producers established some realities of Sydney gaol culture - it's completely run along ethnic divisions. Prison gangs ( except for WASP's) Form according to racial profile. There is corruption, violence, and mistrust - and the laws are strictly schoolyard politics. However, that was as far as the realism extended. The premise, the writing, the Plot, the characters were so one-dimensional, so trite it made me cringe. I felt for the actors who had to spout lines so ridiculously predictable it was laughable. It made a Robert.G.Barrett novel seem like Dostoevsky. Warden in cahoots with the prison's top dog? Even the Young Ones were parodying such an overused plot device 35 years ago. The Pathos is slapped on thicker than a cheese and Vegemite sandwich. Obviously the producers thought casting a wide net at the expense of creative integrity was a smart move, but Australian audiences have come along way and are no fools ( except for the troglodytes that simply revere gangster culture). Give this one a very wide berth.

Lo spietato

Mafiosi Films are a Deep Genre.
Many viewers on here complain about the predictability and formulaic composition of Italian gangster films. They complain that they are unoriginal. Well, so was the Sopranos. Every plot, every subplot, character arc, drama and tension was almost completely informed by either Mob classics or Mob folklore. The beauty of the Sopranos was it's subtle parody of mafia stereotypes - and perhaps for the first time viewed as a daily drama. Larger than life gangsters dealing with everyday life made for great viewing. Essentially though, it was a dramedy. It was social commentary and skilful intricate character development.

Not every mobster flick can live up to be Goodfellas, Casino or the Godfather.

Because it is a thoroughly mined genre, mediocrity is inevitable-but that doesn't mean it's trash, or by the numbers storytelling.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Too safe as usual
Americans have an endless bloodlust for horror and violence but are still as sexually conservative as they were 40 years ago. 10 of the top most banned novels all originate from early 80's suburban high school outrage at these now tame classics all for the same reason: too much sexual language, sexual violence or just plain sex. But it's perfectly fine to show the most graphic violence imaginable. The story of Ted Bundy IMO was best handled by Bright's 2002 'Ted Bundy' - You cannot tell the story of Bundy without showing both sides of his psyche- the charming chameleon and charlatan who wrestled with his inner demons and the Bundy who was addictively driven to greater and more extreme sexual crimes who often showed his high school girlfriend a glimpse of both. This story would have been far better told by a more unconventional, courageous director. 'Lovelace' is another example of dumbing down the plot or making it safe which robs what ultimately is one of the points of film, theatre: Being drawn entirely into the story so as to be immersed in the experience, have a mirror held up to us and to prompt audiences to be affected in a way that inspires lively discussion. This sort of posing can be left for prime time network TV and perfume ads.

Velvet Buzzsaw

A tragic ironic misfire
When I viewed the cast, the credits and especially the premise I was rather intrigued. The message is simple but completely overstated via the characters.

Firstly, the narrative is one of vengeance. The sleek, chic, back-stabbing, L.A art elite happen to stumble upon a haunting and mysterious series of paintings, allegedly produced by a vague and mysterious madman, who, upon his death expressly and without question wanted them destroyed.

But the superficial, fame and fortune seeking characters who compulsively stab each other in the back, start to become hypnotised, entranced and captivated by the diabolical now dead artist 'Deese'.

Hence the plot is childishly simple: Those who seek to profit from not just expressions of art, but from expressions and manifestations of an artists torment, anguish and madness, are doomed in a karmic (sigh) way to befall a similar fate.

Where the movie fails terribly is in the manifestation of the evil in the works of art. The way in which victims behave before they die is like an 80's horror flick telegraphing who's next. What's worse is the by the numbers jump scares, the ridiculously comical and lazy way in which the character's die, and the whole thing just feels slapped together. Some fool had the self aggrandising nerve to suggest the characters were deliberately shallow as if the producer worked hard to deliberately create the uppity urbane art scene fools as some kind of reflective ironic message to the viewers. Urgh. Not all art is so deep, layered, visceral and full of existential primal meaning. Some it is just shallow.

The State

Do you know the reality?
Mostly moist brained Americans- one on here even had the stupidity to suggest All the Middle East's problems result from not accepting Western democracy- are the ones who would typically choose to believe their OWN media as opposed to ANYTHING else. These are the unevolved worlds trash who think they know what ISIS is. The stark truth is only those who have lived within have any right to speak with authority. If ISIS doesn't adhere to the Quran, they get criticised for not being real muslims- Yet when was the last time you met a Christian who strictly adhered to the New Testament? The point is these troglodytes don't realise the extent to which they're being manipulated- just like ISIS recruits. When you compare the atrocities carried out by the U.S and it's allies- just in the Middle East alone- ISIS looks like a Boy Scout group. You fools don't understand context. Lastly cluster bombs and other weapons which are banned by the Geneva convention are currently used by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. Here's one that'll rattle your cage. How many Western men ( I've spoken to hundreds of you ) detest the way women flaunt their sexuality and rapidly rising blind power? That's what hijabs, etc prevent. I'm not advocating violence against women, but we live in a society that manipulated and subliminally stimulate our sexual desires so we become better consumers. But nobody, nothing addresses the terrible frustration and sexual angst that this advertising and marketing bombardment 24/7 causes. Except, we are vilified for being men. Before you judge the Arabic world as backwards- moderate Islam has evolved and thought deep and hard about the customs it has erected. They didn't rule an enormous empire for roughly 800 years influencing Western academic, cultural and social life that has long been forgotten. I abhor all organised religion because it's a weak cop-out to accept someone else's revelations about the way to live, rather than have the courage to take your own journey. Just cease thinking ISIS are one- dimensional goons from a horror movie. ( Americans who vote republican are excused as they don't have the ability and want to uphold the most evil structures in the world: The military industrial congressional complex.

Bird Box

Another decent movie ruined by PC characters
Great movie, trite genre, but done well. Let's get past all the shallow what was the presence,who was the best performer what did it all mean and talk about what is the REAL insidious perverse infection that is slowly sterilising what many are calling the golden age of T.V. It's name cannot be uttered, for you shall be shouted down. It's name is MISANDRY. Yes that's right, hatred of boys and men.

Wha? I'll explain. In ACT I Sandra bullocks character gives us a appalling acount of her father and she and her sister laugh it up. set up No 1. Bullock is diconnected from her child and is thinking of discarding it because it might be a boy and she hates them. (because all men are stupid and evil).

Next we find ourselves in the survival house beginning ACT II. Malkovich plays the spiteful, misanthropic, hateful owner of the house (who's redeeming feature is he let's his gay friend die at the computer). eventually Bullock and Malkovich the strong male and strong female lock horns. We know Malkovich's unflinching refusal to trust anyone new is a sound option. But he's an A**hole. Bullock on the other hand is in her own way a misanthrope too, but she gets the 'strong but nice' tag. Eventually it is the tatooed idiot who leads the woman astray, the last stranger in (a man ) is actually a conduit for the 'demons', and Bullock is saved by 'Mr U.S.A.' I liked his character, but his was way too buff, sugar coated the Iraq war, and according to Bullock, poisons the children's minds with storytales and hope - which make him BAD. Look, you don't need an analysis of the rest, it's a sad commentary on what used to be a medium that ultimately treated everyone as morally ambiguous, not good and evil. I have been aware of this social trend for over twenty years and now it is infecting our screens everywhere in every way. My fear is not the Apocalypse, it's the systematic dialectical destruction and villainising of men. Even the young girl who would be born 'soft' of the sweet chubby woman is miraculously formed into hardened feminist steel, while Bullocks own boy hardly gets a word in. You'll say I'm crazy (or worse - I'm a misogynist), which has become shorthand for any type of criticism or even analysis of the unbalanced, untrue portrayal of gender in film, and it's gathering pace. Next time you watch a Western film, watch how the subtle underlying messages about ( and this is what it boils down to): ALL MEN are perpetrators, ALL WOMEN are victims.

On the Ropes

A home grown multicultural gem
This series captured my attention almost immediately, I estimate that being the powerful, 3 dimensional authentic figure of Nicole Chamoun (Amirah) and all the relate-able, down to earth characters whom we all might be familiar with in Australian society- from the often confusing two-way cultural negotiation between Anglo Saxon (or whitey's) Australians and Muslim Lebanese Australians. Cleverly, the series is exceptionally well paced, giving enough time in each sequence for the audience to clearly and quickly get to know what a good series does in Act 1: explain the world and backdrop the characters live in, before introducing the characters themselves and the complex modern day tensions that confront every Australian no matter their faith, creed, sexuality, faith or lack of it. And that's what draws you in yet again. No matter if we're following the rivalry between father and daughter in the boxing arena, or the difficulty of a lesbian couple who just want to be together, but have to eventually face the rigid customs of their faith which nearly tears them apart, it doesn't seem to matter. This is not a play by the numbers, safety first drama just filling in. It is packed with so much tension between the characters that the boxing sequences almost take a back seat. I highly recommend this great home grown drama to anyone who likes challenging, up to date issues and real characters you can follow. Shame this has been thrown into the traditional non ratings trash timeslot of the xmas period, because if their were more honest, in your face, fearless Australian dramas like this being produced, we wouldn't be stuck with trite and tiring old repeats of dramas long gone, something we can be proud of.

Stacey Dooley Investigates

Naive misandrist entitled boring white girl
Some complete fools have compared this paper doll who has no objectivity as the 'female Louis Theroux'.

What an over-statement. This silly little girl cries anytime female exploitation is a theme in her 'series' and offers the most trite and cliched insights I've ever heard.

This girl is so dull, so subjective, fragile, and trying to be a hard-hitting journalist that it makes you wonder what credentials got her the job. Worse Intrepid Journalist I've ever had the misfortune to be irritated by.

She's the kind of dumb white girl who agrees with anything that's politically correct.

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