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Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Wow, this is one of the rare movies that makes me proud of being a Canadian, a little bit like that famous Molson commercial called "The Rant". Anyway, I was told that the Charlton Heston interview at the end of the documentary alone was worth the admission price. I found that comment a bit overrated. Nevertheless, I think this is a great work of art. I was already never very fond of the US foreign policies, its mentality and its view on Canadians. Yet, I can still claim that after seeing this documentary, I will never see the United States with the same eyes again.
This movie was very good, and inspiring. Corina is the perfect example of human feelings: being triumphant, and sometimes giving up. The characters show both sides and are not one-faced, unlike most movies "made for children". All I can say, without revealing spoilers, is that the coaches, Lili and Mitran, are not as nice... or mean as they sound.
However having been a student in communications (which includes cinema, of course!), I can notice the editing is not very good in this movie, unfortunately, at least in my own terms. That's about the only bad thing I could say about this. Better editing would have made this "Tale for All" an Academy-Award nominee, who knows?
I am tempted to call this movie the "Testament" of air disaster movies. What I mean to say is that "Blessed Stranger" is to the gory air disaster movies like the "Airport" movies... just like "Testament" is to "The Day After" or "Threads". Instead of focusing on the destruction, the special effects, the disaster itself, it focuses on the aftermath, and the people behind it: the survivors.
Well, actually, there are no survivors since, as you know, when Swissair flight 111 went down, 229 people perished. The only survivors are the friends and family of the victims. Although the characters in "Blessed Stranger" are fictitious, the historical background is very realistic.
I loved this movie because it was very sensitive. I have rarely seen actors portraying their roles so well... or tears sound so real. Sure, you might get a tad bored of seeing people crying all the time, but that's the sad reality of grief. Kate Nelligan and Hugh Thompson are outstanding, respectively as the mother of one of the victims, and as a fisherman who helped the rescue efforts, which, as we know, became rather a body and debris collection mission afterwards.
Too bad it's just a made-for-TV movie, that will not be seen again, probably for a long long time. I'm glad that if anyone dared to make a movie out of Swissair flight 111, it was the Canadians, and they did it just right!
Meet the Parents (2000)
Best comedy ever
This might be the best comedy I have ever seen until now! It's all the awful events one after the other that makes you laugh so much and at the same time, feel sorry for poor Greg (Stiller)... (He is almost becoming a modern Chaplin here!) DeNiro is also great! Watch this movie, no matter how, but watch it... your ribs might hurt the next day for laughing so much, and so hysterically.
Not Without My Daughter (1991)
I have loved the excellent book by Betty Mahmoody. This movie, although sometimes very different from the book, for dramatic purposes, is an excellent job at recreating visually the real drama. Sally Field is outstanding, as usual, Sheila Rosenthal is a very cute Mahtob you feel so much like protecting, while Alfred Molina brillantly plays a good father and a horrible monster at the same time. That's the beauty of it. You already know the story ends (if you read the book or heard the story) yet each time you see it, you feel for the characters. Bravo!
Miracle Mile (1988)
Great nuke movie
I saw this movie for the first time in 1989 and was lucky enough to see it again, 10 years later on "Showcase". Seeing it again made me appreciate even further.
They show enough ICBM immediate effect, without getting too graphic... and without being too un-graphic (like... say "Testament"). The panic is large enough to give you the creeps... especially the special extremely rushed news bulletin about the "rumors of possible nuclear attack". The secondary characters, especially the businesswoman knowing the meaning of "4-Arthur-66-DDZ" (did I get the code right?), are developped just long enough and appear just long enough.
But this movie is not about the nuclear war, it's more about an impossible love, or rather not at the right moment! And what a love story! I have a lot of compassion for the two main characters. It's one of the rare times it happens.
As many people said it before me in the IMDb... get this movie, no matter how. It is really sad that this movie is underrated, almost unavailable (just like "Threads"), and it's only after seeing what other users wrote in the IMDb that I realized how lucky I am to have seen this movie one more time.
The Swarm (1978)
Boo-hoo... or should I say... Bzz-zzz...
I thought this would be yet another great disaster movie they way they should be: ridiculous but with good special effects and at least a good story with continuity. But I was totally dissapointed.
Not only is this terribly long, but the characters are not developed at all, you don't care at all about them. The story is incoherent as well, you see things that have nothing to do one after the other, leaving incredible gaps of time and space. The story makes it sound like, at moments, the bees fly at 7 miles per hour, and sometimes at 700. The ending makes me wonder, at first: "At last! It's over... Uh, the story, not the bees." and then... "Where's the bee(f)?"
It hasn't changed my opinion about bees, and has not made me scared of them neither. I still think bees are nice examples of hardwork and cooperation, and this movie is yet another futile attempt to make you scared of them, at least in the 1990s, and at least for a couple of seconds.
I think it would be useless to repeat all that the other users have said about "Threads" since I cannot do better but agree with everything. This has to be THE most graphic representation of nuclear war. And I used to think "The Day After" was disturbing.
I was able to cope to the whole movie, but let's say it wasn't easy at all. I can still hear in my head the yells of the panicked citizens as the mushroom cloud rises in the distance when it hits Crewe... or see the bottles of milk... or the corpse (which bears a striking resemblance with E.T.!) burning in the firestorm... or see survivors keeping as gold what is taken nowadays as granted: supermarket plastic bags... and what they put inside is simply disgusting.
When I found out my local video store had a copy of this film, I rushed to get it, as I was impatient to see this movie I have heard so much about. The impatience to see the movie was rewarded by nothing more than a really bad aftertaste of radioactive fallout.
I liked the movie not for the quality of the actors, but for the overall realistic representation of the holocaust and for the great job done with a small budget. I give a thumbs up to that.
The Arrow (1997)
Very loose historical representation
Many people will disagree with the vision of the filmmakers of "The Arrow" and how they portray the political figures involved, including Diefenbaker and Eisenhower. This movie makes it sound like Diefenbaker was a heavy responsible for this aviation fiasco, while many will agree that is not totally true. Remember that "true story" movies are not always 100% true.
Leaving that behind, I think this was a nice movie, and the real historical sequences inserted were neat. It is visually brilliant and shows it had quite a big budget. And it really makes you feel sorry for the Arrow, wishing it would have really been put in service.
Neat and funny film
I would qualify this TV movie as a "light entertainment", although extremely fast-paced. The characters evolve very quickly, the events pass very quickly, one becomes almost numb at everything going on, especially since everything you expect never happens!
The character of Elsie, the au pair girl, is so lovable. The movie has its funny moments and you can relate to the monoparental family, which has its common points with almost every family.
The ending left me wondering: "That's it?". I wish the love between Jérémie and Mathilde would have been developed further, but then again, that's another good point, since you get the unexpected. I recommend this movie to anyone looking for anything but a how-to guide for eventual au pair young women!
Student Bodies (1997)
Greatest teenage sitcom
I simply love this show and never miss it since I discovered how GOOD it is. Not always realistic, but sometimes it REALLY is. The balance between the real actors and their cartoon equivalents is great. I was really surprised to find out it was filmed in my hometown, MONTREAL! Way to go!
Miracle Landing (1990)
This movie is by far one of the best in the field of the air disaster made-for-TV movies. Great visual quality, great soundtrack, excellent special effects (it isn't easy to show a 737 with portion of the roof out). It really is to wonder how that plane made it.
Legion of Fire: Killer Ants! (1998)
This movie was really really awful. The title seemed interesting and I was really disappointed. And I mean it. Bad actors, bad story, not credible at all, bad special effects for the ants. I mean computer graphics weren't really nicely made (at least they tried!). Something tells me there's going to be a sequel to this terrible, terrible movie. I mean, look at the ending!
Crazy People (1990)
This is definitely one of the movies that portrays the best the way advertising should be... or shouldn't be! It made me laugh a lot. My favorite slogan from all is "Come In The Bahamas" :-)
Mijn vader woont in Rio (1989)
I don't have much to say about this movie, except that it is a nice portrait of a monoparental family and the arrival of someone else in the new "family". But the most important is the little girl, Lisa (played by Wenneke), who really REALLY wants to meet her father, supposedly in Brazil, but unfortunately in jail. I recommend it. It's quite entertaining and it offers a surprising ending!
Strategic Command (1997)
This is, without any doubt, the WORST movie involving airplanes in the entire history of movies, and also one of the WORST movies, period. Good thing I was alternating between this movie and "Corrina, Corrina" on TV, I thought the latter was by far more interesting. But the point is: the guys not only directly copy Air Force One and Executive Decision, but also don't know anything about aviation.
I mean how on Earth is there supposed to be this little trap at the belly of the 747, right on spot? How is there supposed to be this elevator that goes straight to the cargo section? Why on Earth is that plane bearing the livery of the inaugural 747 flight from Boeing? They were too cheap to take shots of a plane themselves, so they took footage from Boeing. Why is that "TERRAIN - PULL UP" or "TOO LOW - GEAR" alarm ringing when the aircraft is flying at cruising altitude? One last thing: the realistic ending of the movie would have been the 747 crashing and burning in Santa Monica and having half the population of Los Angeles killed either with the fire or the chemical toxin, because it is impossible to land a plane that easily (and so nicely aligned with the runway)! Overall, this movie is the worst of all, the acting is awful, the plot is awful, it made me think: "How lower can you sink?"
Blackout Effect (1998)
Good idea, bad movie
The idea of the movie is quite good to me: finding a quick responsible for a mid-air collision (in this case, the air traffic controller). However, it was not exploited correctly. The entire movie is full of technical mistakes regarding the aviation and air traffic control domain. This shows that the producers didn't care about their lack of information. Also, the actors do not seem very sincere unfortunately.
As to conclude, the entire movie is not worth watching it.