mikialama

IMDb member since March 2006
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    13 years

Reviews

Jeet Hamaari
(1983)

A hidden gem of 80s camp
I gave this film a 6 not because it succeeds as an action film but because it makes such a caricature of such films from Hindi cinema in the 80s. The end result is a hilarious (although not intentionally so) film during which you get to see impossible martial arts moves and almost every cliche in the Hindi film playbook. Some of those cliches include a kidnapping, mistaken identity, a stolen treasure, and really, really funny animal heros. Yes, you heard me. And here are even little Easter eggs of homage to classic Hindi movies. (Sorry, no thwarted romance.) Rajinikanth is stolen from his family as a toddler and raised by thieves. He becomes a car thief with a heart of gold and is hired to steal a treasure. Shakti Kapoor is an impossibly loathsome bad guy who hires him. Both seem to realize the campiness of their roles while Rajesh Rohan (yes, Hrithik's father) seems to take himself seriously in the role of impossibly noble policeman . But he makes the perfect foil for the other two. And let us not forget the animal heros: horses and dogs who understand Hindi perfectly and can think and act under their own agency-especially in a coordinated attack later in the film where hooves, teeth, fur come flying from all directions and a tiny menacing pomeranian drops from the ceiling to ravages a goon. No, I'm not kidding. You really have to see this! It's so much fun and so typical of 80s camp, Hindi cinema style. Pop some popcorn, grab a mango lassi and enjoy!

Made in Heaven
(2019)

Zoya Akhtar is a brilliant bet!
Zoya Akhtar is one of the premiere directors and screenwriters working in Indian entertainment today. Her big screen titles such as Luck By Chance, Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara, Talaash, Dil Dhadakne Do, Lust Stories, and Gully Boy stand head and shoulders above much other work being done in contemporary Indian film. And now her insight into the human condition has lit up the small screen as well with Made In Heaven. The story follows events which unfold not only as two best-friend wedding planners and their employees create weddings "made in heaven", but also as they all live out their daily lives. The famous John Lennon lyric from "Beautiful Boy" which says "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" has perhaps never been better illustrated anywhere than in this brilliant series. Ubiquitous are the comparisons some Indians seem to feel a need to make between western productions and their own. With that in mind, it bears pointing out that Made In Heaven is a brilliant achievement regardless from whence it originated. Production values are seamless and stories mesmerizing as Akhtar, fellow writers, and co-directors Nitya Mehra, Prashant Nair, and Alankrita Shrivastava translate their vision to screen. The show "speaks" on so many social issues facing Indian society today with a marvelously deft approach that balances perfectly between story-telling and social exhortation. Never a dull moment here and the stand-out efforts of the proven talents of cast such as Sobhita Dhulipala, Arthur Mathur, Jim Sorbh, Shashank Arora, Kalki Koechlin and others make sure of it. Much has been made recently of small screen efforts such as Sacred Games and Delhi Crime. Made In Heaven is perhaps even better done than these. At the very least, the addition of Made In Heaven to the newly emerging catalog of fine Indian television drama makes one excited to see what comes next. And at the most, one devoutly hopes for Season Two.

Jinn
(2019)

It could work....
First, I liked Jinn-unlike several other reviewers here. I thought the acting from a group of young unknowns was suitable-not great, but suitable. The story idea was a good one, albeit poorly executed, and I found myself wondering what might happen to the characters in a second season after that silly cliff-hanger ending, if given a chance to develop. (I keep thinking of Vampire Diaries which was also awful at first but then ran 8 seasons.) What I did struggle with was the unabashed westernization of the people and culture. I haven't been to Jordan, but I have spent a great deal of time in the Gulf area and in Arabic settings. My first thoughts were "Where are the hijabs?", then "Language like that from girls in public?" and "Oh my goodness! Was that a KISS on a public schoolbus?!?" No matter how innocuous that may seem to a westerner, believe me, to a Middle-Eastern or Gulf resident, it is most definitely NOT! And when the kids ran off for a secret party with alcohol?!? Drinking is permitted in certain situations in Jordan, but over 90 percent of Jordanians practice Islam which forbids drinking. I know we're speaking of rule-challenging teenagers here, but this drunken party on a school outing is far more Riverdale teenagers than Middle Eastern. In fact, the representation of Arabic culture in general and Jordanian specifically is probably insulting to real Jordanians. Jinn exhibits VAST cultural tone-deafness and that is troubling. What saves Jinn, however, is that it's something new in Middle Eastern media. Most series there have been very traditional and centered on adult issues. This show is the one of the first to break that mold by focusing on the angst of teenagers. It is truly ground-breaking and should get some respect for that alone. And also for that reason, it should perhaps be forgiven its clumsy western derivation as well. Fix that and it could be an interesting series worth a second season.

Hotel Mumbai
(2018)

Forget the negatives! Be sure to see it!
Can't figure out why this film has such negative reviews here! A large group of us went to see it, and afterwards, all were positively breathless and exhausted from the non-stop intensity of the film. It moved several of us to tears and we all agreed it could be an award winner! The actors, including Dev Patel, Anupam Kher, Nazanin Boniadi, Jason Issacs, Armie Hammer were excellent. There was not one moment that didn't have all riveted, both by the pathos of the individual stories as well as the excellent and effective direction of action sequences! Though not Indian, I am still well-acquainted with the fact that many films and documentaries have been made on this subject and have seen many of them. This one holds its own! Also, having stayed in Taj properties allows one to agree that "Guest is God" is indeed the supreme mantra there. The true fact that over half of those who were there at Taj Palace at during the horrific attack were real-life employee heroes who stayed to help guests is a story well-worth repetition. It's also is a testament not only to the sincerity of that maxim, but to courage and determination often present in much of Indian culture in general-fierce even when pitted against insurmountable odds. Highly recommend this film, particularly for westerners new to the story.

Black Summer
(2019)

Don't waste your time.
Black Summer is perhaps the most boring, yawn-worthy zombie show ever made. Yes, I said yawn and zombie in the same sentence. It's also possibly one of the worst programming decisions the content team at Netflix has ever made the decision to purchase. Really, this hot mess is almost insulting to zombir fans. Dialog is almost non-existant. So is any musical score, come to think of it. Also missing is anything that makes sense. It's random and there seems to be no plot...just a lot of people running around literally in circles while every once in a while, a jet roars overhead. God only knows why they're running around. Maybe it's the zombies, but then again, maybe not. And I kid you not...this is all these people do for eight full episodes. A few of them find guns and shoot zombies. A few of them are bitten and become zombies. And there really is not another single thing that happens. I watched it for 3 full episodes trying to give it a chance. I think I'm scarred for life now. Even hitting the :10 forward function all the way through the later episodes didn't help, because again-NOTHING happens. It's really quite a shame, too, because these zombies are actually scary. They can run fast, jump, climb and they make a pretty terrific growling sound that beats the heck out of the noises tv/movie zombies usually make. What a shame they were wasted in a ridiculous show like this.

Delhi Crime
(2019)

Don't miss this!
One of the best police procedural series I have ever seen! Delhi Crime is not for the faint of heart, and most certainly not for children; it is dark, horrific, heart-breaking, infuriating. Knowing from the start that there is little chance of a happy ending to such a devastating true crime story is difficult to come to grips with, but the series still does an outstanding job of drawing the audience into the tenseness of the hunt, the pathos of the victim, the humanity of the officers and the question of whether or not the hardwork of the Delhi poluce will end in the ultimate payoff of capture. The approach of program creator Richie Mehta to present this as the "insider" story of the work of a police investigation racing against time, hampered by rumour, falsehoods, and political machinations succeeds beautifully. (And most definitely will strike a chord with western audiences as well!) The casting of a lead well-known for her big screen work (Shefali Shah) is brilliant and the intensity she brings to the small screen (without the melodrama which unfortunately can crop up in Indian television) is perfect. Sharing equally in her triumph are the other outstanding cast members, including Adil Hussain as the beleaguered police commissioner. Do take the time to view this really amazing production. It is a gem.

Ek Aur Ek Gyarah
(1981)

Change your graphic
There are two films called Ek Aur Ek Gyarah. One stars Shashi Kapoor and was made in 1981. The other stars Govinda and Sanjay Dutt and was made in 2003. The names are the same, but the plots are completely different. This IMDb entry is incorrect. It contains the plot summary and cast information for the 1981 film, but the profile poster in this entry is for the 2003 film. Both are great films, but someone who is not as familiar with Hindi film names is going to be very confused. I am entering a plot summary for the 2003 film, puctured in the profile poster and my rating of 7 is also for that film. Two best friends named Tara and Sitara(Govinda and Sanjay Dutt), who consider themselves brothers, are fairly successful con men and burglars who end up at odds with a much more sinister crime duo called Cobra and Panther. Tara and Sitara go into hiding, managing to talk their way into staying at the guest house of a high-ranking Army officer named Ram Singh who is looking for the sinister crime duo. They do this by pretending to be former owners of the home who now are homeless, Tara faking paralysis in a wheelchair. Ram Singh also just happens to have a daughter and a younger sister who take a liking to Tara and Sitara and romance ensues. In the meantime, will Cobra and Panther find Tara and Sitara and wreak vengeance? This really is a very funny film and Dutt (who often plays a scary gangster type like in Vaastav:The Reality) is the perfect comic foil for the hilarious Govinda. I hope IMDb techs straighten this out. It was very confusing at first!

Himmatwala
(1983)

Everything masala
Don't let the overall 4.4 rating stop you from enjoying the best of mind-boggling masala film that Bollywood has to offer! (I can only guess the low rating may come from viewers unfamiliar with the traditional scope of a such a film.) Himmatwala was a huge commercial success, one of the highest grossing films of the 80s, and a film that launched the incomparable Sridevi into stardom. From crime to spiritual lessons to tragedy to fantasy to musical to light-hearted comedy to romance to heroes and villains and damsels in distress-Himmatwala has it all. Really, it could be the dictionary definition for masala movies. The film is definitely dated, but its successful recipe still guides some of the best mainstream, over-the-top film productions coming out of India today. In fact, it's far superior, imho. Where else could you see some of the best Bollywood actors ever (particularly the aforementioned Sridevi)pull out every single weapon in their acting arsenals all in the same movie? Sridevi as the jaw-dropping bad girl with a change of heart, unforgettable Shakti Kapoor as villain, man in love and comedic foil all in one. Amjad Khan as predictably bad guy again, but a surprisingly dynamic character who gets to be villain, devoted father and comedian-who would have guessed Gabbar Singh from Sholay could ever make you laugh? Jeetendra and Waheeda Rehman's characters as the absolutely essential static but noble hero and his mother-the good guys who fight the good fight to save everything Bollywood believes Indian culture holds dear! Plus all the wonderful clash of colors and unlikely sets of masala song sequences. You have to take it with a grain of salt (except perhaps the heart-breaking and almost too-real flood scenes), but when you watch a film like Himmatwala, it's all about the mindset and a very willing suspension of disbelief. And oh my goodness, the last 50 or so minutes make everything else you sat through worthwhile, especially Shakti and his construction crane! Do give this one a chance. It's worth it.

Star Trek: Discovery
(2017)

A different viewpont
I was 14 when TOS came out. I'm in my 60s now, have been a loyal Trekkie my entire adult life, and I say ST Discovery has got potential! Yes, the first season was untypically dark, all about one person's guilt trip, but think of it this way: it was Star Trek the way it would have been written by screen-writers in the Terran Empire-gritty and mean, but still familiar. (And at least we didn't have to suffer a return of V'ger!) As for the gnashing of teeth over Klingon appearance, really?!? I just chuckled, remembered the change from TOS to TNG looks and Worf's explanation: "We do not speak of it." Enter the second season, admittedly much better! With the guest captaincy of Captain Pike and his swashbuckling reminiscent of James T., the return of endearingly corny dialogue a la every Trek iteration ever, as well as enlargment of scope to allow for true ST ensemble character development with the likes of Tilly, Stamets and Saru, Discovery settled down and began to look like true Trek. (Not to mention another slick Klingon explanation: "Now that the war is over, they're growing their hair back.) Bahaha! C'mon, the second season is fun! (Who cares if we never heard of Spock's step sister before? Sibling rivalry and alienation of affection go a long way toward explaining Spock's eschewing of his emotional human side, his eventual great attachment to Kirk, his replacement brother, and his combative relationship with Bones, his erstwhile nemesis.) You people are fussing over Discovery as though the show makers had done something really radical-like take the characters off a starship and put them on a base somewhere in deep space near the Cardassian border. Ahem. I hear they have renewed it for a third. To quote Captain Pike, I say..."Hit it!"

Pyaasa
(1957)

Not typical B-town in any way
If you are not familiar with the history of Hindi films and are led by the high ratings here to expect a big masala movie indicative of contemporary Bollywood films, you may come away from this film scratching your head and wondering where the high ratings came from--particularly if you are new to Hindi cinema ( as opposed to " Bollywood").HOWEVER, having said that, let me encourage those who are unfamiliar with what is known as the "Golden Age" of Hindi cinema and the historical times that gave birth to this film to do some reading and THEN watch it. 1951 was only 4 years after partition, but unfortunately, many Indians were already becoming disenchanted with the new government's ability, or lack thereof, to bring about the sweeping changes many had hoped would come with the new beginning for the new country. Pyassa came at a time of disenchantment and soul-searching as the new socialist, secular India struggled to find her footing. (Author Tejaswini Ganti does an excellent job illuminating this very different yet important time in Hindi Cinema.) It presents a very bleak picture of greed and corruption, and yet there is a small beacon of hope for understanding, for good to find a way to continue, for equality to stand against injustice, hope for the future. Understanding this is integral to appreciating WHY this is considered one of the greatest films in Hindi cinema history. Learn, watch and enjoy.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
(2018)

casting disaster
I understand why this has so many good reviews. People (including me) really love this genre, and they'll watch it even when it's poorly done. After all, horror is in, supernatural is ultra cool, and Sabrina's eyebrows are on fleek. But there's no substance to this series. It's like the writers decided to take every horror cliche, mash it all up with every politically correct cliche and then serve it with a blood moon on top. The warmed-over plot-lines in this series might still be palatable if there were some great actors giving it their all. But the simple truth is that Kiernan Shipka just can't act. Her dialog delivery and timing is painful to watch. She has the same expression for every single emotion....those eyebrows cocked at the same for what? Worry? Fear? Disappointment? Joy? Happiness? Horror? It's almost impossible to tell. Her speech inflection is just downright disconcerting. I never knew whether she was complimenting someone or telling them to go to you know where. There is never any difference in her tone. Physically, her face is like a mask: mouth never moves...just tongue and teeth, creating a deadpan look so lacking in expression and so distracting that after a while, I found I couldn't care less about whether she signed the bloody book or not. Her supporting cast does their best, but there is zero chemistry between Shipka and, well, anyone else in the show. That's glaring in particular with Harvey, the mortal boyfriend. One ends up just really not caring what happens to that romance. Go ahead, Sabrina! Sign the book! The Dark Lord has GOT to be a step up from Harvey Milquetoast. Really, the best actor in the show is Sabrina's familiar Salem the cat. And he doesn't have any speaking lines. This show tries to bite off way more than it can chew and ends up choking on it. Riverdale, it is not. For a series based on the more recent comicbook and most def NOT the old tv spin-off from Bewitched, there isn't even any true comic relief built in. It takes itself far too seriously and would be so much better if it would lighten up.... and also recast the lead. Love the supernatural/horror genre? Do yourself a favor and binge Haunting of Hill House instead.

Hold the Dark
(2018)

A key to the head scratcher
Beautiful scenery, excellent acting, thought-provoking story. However, this film is so wrapped up in itself, it fails to remember it has an audience to satisfy. In performance art films, audience is an integral part of what takes place, and the filmmaker has an obligation to provide the means for authentic interaction. The problem with "Hold the Dark" is that it is so obtuse, it frustrates viewers, rather than making a connection. Imho, if the viewer understands the film's central metaphor of humans as wild animals, particularly wolves, most of the confusion evaporates. Certainly the clues are there, but they are buried. Consider the following and then see if your understanding of the film is re-framed: The entire film is set in Alaska, a giant metaphor for wilderness and wildness beyond the usual veneer of human civilization. When the writer/wolf expert invited to a tiny Northern Alaska village tells the woman who has invited him there that his daughter is in Anchorage, she tells him "that's not the real Alaska down there", implying it's too civilized. The woman is Medora Sloan, whose son has been taken, she says, by wolves. Oddly in her letter invitation, she has told the wolf expert she wants him to find the wolf that took her child, but not to kill it. Later, when asked how she met her husband Vernon Sloan, she says she never met him,but that he was just in every memory she has ever had, implying they are from the same clan, family, even perhaps brother and sister and have followed wolf mating practices which can include incest. Even later, Medora assumes a wolf identity by donning a wolf mask when she tries to seduce the writer. And she tries to get him to strangle her as a part of foreplay, reminiscent of the biting and violence that accompanies actual wolf mating rituals. Meanwhile, in Iraq, Vernon dispatches insurgents and friendlies with equal "cold-bloodedness", prompting an observer to call him a "real meat-eater". (Interesting: Medora, the wife's name, is also the name of a town known as North Dakota's top tourist attraction which was originally founded as a meat-packing plant). And in a flashback, Vernon and son Bailey sit near the meat of a carcass of a freshly killed deer as he asks, "How did that feel?" Did that feel good?" Bailey agrees that it did. Eventually, the writer discovers Bailey's body of hidden in the house, dead from strangulation not wolves, and Medora is missing. Not long after that, he has the opportunity to see a wolf pack eating a dead pup, and we learn that's a common occurence when food is short or there is "something wrong" with the pups. BIG hint. When Vernon comes home from Iraq because the son has died, he is equally ruthless in dispatching anyone he sees as weak or unable to adequately perform their duties-the way a wolf pack will dispatch a sick member. There is also an exchange in which Vernon visits an Indian hunter who tells him they met when Vernon was a boy and that HIS father had wanted "wolf's oil" from the hunter in order to help Vernon who had something about him that was "unnatural" and "not right", implying something also was wrong with Vernon's son Bailey as well. This visit comes just after Sloan has been at a tiny hotel where his wife had stayed two nights before. The proprietor tells him the sheets have not been changed. Vernon enters the room, kneels by the bed, buries his head in the sheets, inhaling Medora's scent deeply with surprising longing rather than sadness or anger. Vernon also has a bond with a First Nations man who has lost a daughter to wolves...a possible hint that the incest practices of wolf-packs are at work in more families in the village than just that of the Sloans. And, true to pack behavior, the friend chooses pack over non-pack when he goes to extremes to protect and support Vernon as he begins his hunt for Medora. In contrast, Vernon kills an old woman who has broken the law of pack-first and she actually whines submissively as he stands over her, ready to strike the fatal blow. Things fall into place even more when Vernon, wearing a wolf mask on finding Medora, begins to strangle her-which then turns into making love. As for why the two dig up their son's remains and take the body with them? Recall the wolves eating the pups? Yep. Equipped with some of those insights, one should be able to not just more fully understand the balance of the film but also, hopefully, enjoy it.

Maniac
(2018)

Keep watching!
"Maniac"" is one of those shows that, when it's over, you take a deep breath, think "What did I just see??" and then laugh out loud with delight! It's one of the freshest things I've seen for television in a very long time. I rated Maniac a 9 solely because the first episode was so odd and slow that I almost didn't watch any more. Having finished the series now, I get why it had to develop that way, but it's a drawback if you're a not-very-persistent viewer. But please DO keep watching. It just gets better and better and better...even past the end credits. Jonah Hill plays a severely withdrawn introvert with reality issues being pressured by his family to lie under oath for a brother. Emma Stone is a drug addict escaping a tragic past. They are both admitted into a pharmaceutical trial which stretches reality and imagination on the parts of their characters and the viewer alike. The quirky retro/future vibe of the setting only adds to the seemingly chaotic yet actually meticulously planned story-line. Justin Theroux is also marvelous as the "mad scientist" and Sally Field is brilliantly "icky" as his hug-therapy mother. Each episode features a new iteration of reality for the two main characters, fit into the frame of the drug trial. How they get through the iterations and still connect with their original lives is the backbone of the mini-series. A warning: make sure a friend watches it, too, because you're going to want to discuss endlessly after you seen it. Maniac is a gem!

Cargo
(2017)

An unexpected gem
I watched Cargo because I have a thing about zombies and post-apocalyptic scenarios. With a bent in that direction, I end up seeing a lot of junk. But Cargo is most definitely NOT junk. And the fact that Martin Freeman stars in it was all the added temptation to see it that I needed. Really, don't miss this. It's what I think of when I think of good Australian films: unabashed confrontation of life at its worst, met with courage, creativity and a little humour as well. Cargo is a lovely film whose title is heart-breakingly apt unexpected. It's about great love and great sacrifice, and it's simply a very different but beautiful approach to all the films of this genre that have come before it. It's about the message, not the gore. Freeman is always an extraordinary actor, and he rises to the occasion for this film as well. But he is the cherry on the top. The rest of the characters/cast members make a good showing as well. I highly recommend this one for your watch-list!

Ghoul
(2018)

Radhika Apte makes this worth the watching!
Definitely put this one on your watch-list! Anyone at all familiar with the films/tv that come out of Indian cinema knows that the supernatural horror genre (as opposed to something like Dhadak/Sairaat which I personally consider real life horror) has a long way to go in terms of development in India's film industry. Having said that, however, Ghoul was surprisingly good. and definitely worth viewing. The portrayal of ancient retribution for a totalitarian regime in the near future which has begun applying the word "terrorist" to anyone with a brain or philosophical bent (a swipe at BJP, I think) is good. Writer and director Patrick Graham ( a British writer based in Mumbai and working in the Indian entertainment industry) creates a good picture of the starkness of the setting, albeit a heavy handed-one. The whole lights and shadows and Brechtian set thing is way too heavy-handed, but then again, the focus is rightly on the action, not on the set--something again relatively rare in Indian film/tv. Radhika Apte is one of the most talented actresses working in Indian cinema today. (What I wouldn't give to see her take on a role with my personal idol Shah Rukh Khan-haha). Radhika brings to Ghoul the same kind of intensity we saw in her big-screen production Lust Stories, Phobia, Parched, Badlapur and in fact, one could honestly say that Ghoul is essentially a Radhika Apte vehicle (thanks, Netflix, wink wink) in which all the other actors are essentially props for her role. (No offense to Manav Kaul and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee.) I KNOW we will see more of Radhika. Hopefully, we will also see more significant development of the Indian horror genre like Graham's Ghoul. Congratulations. With Ghoul, this genre has come a long was since Darr at the Mall.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
(2018)

So refreshing !
I haven't read Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, so I came to this film without any preconceptions. I don't know whether the film followed the novel or not, but as a stand alone YA film, this was an absolute winner! It's so nice to watch a film not full of anger and pain and ugliness, but rather love and learning. And it was accomplished without any nudity and without any vulgar language. I'm not a prude by any means, but I get sick of the same old diet of sensationalism and crudity that pretty much every contemporary film made in Hollywood considers a requirement. The premise is perfect: what young girl has not written a love letter to a crush that she never intended to send? The storyline tracks well. The only thing that went slightly astray is the scene that alludes to the fact that in high school,, not everyone is who they seem. That hints at a back story that would be really fun to explore--maybe in a sequel? Lana Condor is perfect (albeit slightly typecast) as the quiet nerd. Noah Centineo's performance hints at acting depth that looks promising to develop further in future films. Anna Cathcart is adorable as the little sister who wants the best for her sibling. And it was nice to see Janel Parrish do a great job in a POSITIVE role (let's see her in more of those, okay, filmmakers?). Those were the stand out characters in my mind, but the supporting roles were well done also. This is the perfect family film--cute, entertaining, light, and one you would not be afraid to watch with your kids (or parents as the case may be). One small hint: keep watching after the credit roll. It's delightful.

Marco Polo
(2014)

pardon, your ignorance is showing!
I am appalled at the ignorance of some of the things posted in the boards of this show. I think it's pretty outstanding! The casting is excellent, the attention to history in detail of costumes and culture is awesome and I rather like the fact that Marco Polo himself is more of an observer than a main character...the Mongols, especially Kublai Khan, stealing every single scene! People have bemoaned the "stiffness" of the actors; I can only chalk that up to very little exposure to Asian culture, film or acting! Watch some classic Asian made films and you'll see the acting in this offering is very true to form. As for casting of Chinese as Mongols when they are two very distinctly different ethnic groups,the make-up did a very credible job transforming them into believable Mongols...who are much darker in skin than Chinese, have higher cheekbones, broader faces and a more pronounced slant to the eyes than Chinese as well. The choice to have each group speak in English was a wise business decision. The biggest audience for this is Americans who don't exactly have much patience with subtitles. There was a nice combination of native languages spoken either in the background or as asides that gave one a good flavor of the languages. The attention to detail in costuming was really, really good. And for those worried about historical accuracy...there are almost 150 different editions or versions of The Travels of Marco Polo which is the travelogue "written" (actually spoken to a scribe) by Polo himself. They all have great flights of fantasy and magic and extremely improbable events in them so much so that some scholars have wondered if Polo had ever really been to all the places he claimed to visit, so a few inaccuracies ( like everyone speaking in English) is actually right in line with Polo's original work and actually might have been something the author himself might have appreciated. In short, stop looking for production and script flaws, stop displaying such ignorance about Asian cultures and just sit back and enjoy a darn good-adventure film!

The 100
(2014)

give it time to warm up!
This show is definitely worth watching, no matter what the naysayers keep going on about! Yes, it started out fairly roughly...major plot holes, not much character development, some horrendous acting, but all of a sudden, it did an about face and actually became surprisingly decent entertainment. It was like the writers, cast, director--everyone involved- -just found their footing, hit their stride and it's all come together. Someone else compared it to the remade Battlestar Galactica, and that's very apt. It's great fun and adventure. Will anyone on it win an award from the Mensa society? Nope. But it's not trying to be anything other than it is...a great romping space opera that this viewer at least really looks forward to seeing more of! Keep up the good work, 100!

Alabama Moon
(2009)

lovely, simple, family
"Alabama Moon" is a lovely little film about a young boy who loses his only parent and then must figure out how to make it on his own. If you have ever read any of the teen survival literature like My Side of the Mountain, you have a fairly good idea of what the film is like. Will this film win any awards? Probably not, but it's refreshing to just relax and watch a film that is good for the heart. Another reviewer complained that this film was reminiscent of the Waltons. That's true, but let us not forget how long the Waltons ran and how extremely popular it was. A great film for a bowl of popcorn and the kiddos gathered around the TV!

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