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Member's Reviews

The Killing of America, a review by Jimmy


Title: The Killing of America (1982)

Genre: Documentary
Director: Sheldon Renan           
Rating: Unrated
Length: 1h31
Video: Full Frame
Audio: English
Subtitles: No Subtitles

Chuck Riley - Narrator   

My Thoughts:
Before I start my review I will be honest with you, I've not wrote a review for so long and my last one was so bad that I feel a lot of pressure this time. But I'm not here for that so here we go with the review.

I've decided for this one to go with one genre that I don't think that I've reviewed here : the documentary. I have some of them in my collection, but not that much (many mondo movie, the faces of death serie, the first 3 of Michael Moore, ...) and one that I can't really name as a documentary that show footage of people death (this is the only movie in my collection that I'm not able to watch. I've bought it to shock my relatives, but finally this one is too much for me). The movie that I review here was made for the Japanese market after the success of the first Faces of Death (a rites of passage for all the teenagers when I was young). But there are no real comparison between the two : much of FOD is fake. So what we see in the movie is real, I'm sure that some find that it will be a bad taste documentary. Surprise, this is a very well done movie about the culture of violence in the United States. The film start with the assasination of John Kennedy that are the end of the innocence for the country (I tend to agree with that). That continue with the mention of many others political murder : Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Georges Wallace, Ronald Reagan (I know he was not murdered). After they continue with an analysis of many others tendancy : the sniper (Charles Whitman), the serial killer (Ted Bundy), the cult murder (Jim Jones) and the random killer (Brenda Spencer). Most of the footage came from the tv station or the police, except for 2 interviews : Thomas Noguchi (a well known LA coroner) and, a particulary good one, with Ed Kemper (a serial killer). Some of the footage can be hard to watch for some viewers (we talk of dead person here), but like I've said most of the image came from the news.

The documentary is more neutral than Bowling for Colombine that covers the same subject. The director didn't manipulate the image or the editing to convince the viewer, he present the facts and let the archives do the talking.

Sure, he mentions that the guns culture are a part of the problem (even the most gun crazy guy can agree with that) but not the only one. Another part of the problem is the media themselves (the more they talk about those murders the more they happen). Just to quote one of the killer (Robert Smith) that have killed many women in a beauty school when he was caught : I want to be somebody, I want to be known.

The film end with the John Lennon memorial at Central Park when we learn that 2 person were killed. To leave us on a positive note at the end the narrator told us that five people were killed while we were watching the documentary. This movie was made more than 20 years ago and sadly this is worst than ever. Even in a little town like where I live we don't feel secure, not that a murder happen everyday but more and more crime happen.       

The bad thing is that this movie is not available at all in America, my copy is a bootleg but it was released in Europe many years ago on dvd. Since I don't want to end my review with a bad news : the movie is available on youtube (can't understand since they have closed my account for a couple of trailer Thumb down !).

Rating :


(From The little known movie review depot on September 3rd, 2008)

Member's Reviews

Random Harvest, a review by Antares

Random Harvest

Year: 1942
Film Studio: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Loew's Incorporated
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 126 Min.

Mervyn LeRoy (1900)

Claudine West (1890)...Screenplay
George Froeschel (1891)...Screenplay
Arthur Wimperis (1874)...Screenplay
James Hilton (1900)...Novel

Sidney Franklin (1893)

Joseph Ruttenberg (1889)

Herbert Stothart (1885)...Composer

Ronald Colman (1891) as Smithy
Greer Garson (1904) as Paula
Philip Dorn (1905) as Dr. Jonathan Benet
Susan Peters (1921) as Kitty
Henry Travers (1874) as Dr. Sims
Reginald Owen (1887) as 'Biffer'
Bramwell Fletcher (1904) as Assistant
Rhys Williams (1897) as Sam

       Random Harvest is one of those old classic films that hopes that the viewer can suspend disbelief in reality long enough to enjoy the implausible basis for its story. Nowadays when a screenwriter wraps his narrative around the theme of amnesia, it usually means that he has run out of creative ideas to write upon, but in the 40’s this storyline was still relatively uncharted. Luckily for me, I haven’t become too jaded by modern day events and technological advances to forsake my imagination from running wild when watching a good classic drama.

       Random Harvest introduces us to a soldier (Ronald Colman) who is convalescing in an asylum in a remote English town towards the end of the First World War. Suffering from a severe case of Shell Shock, he can remember nothing about himself or his past. On the night of the Armistice signing, while the guards are reveling in the proclamation of peace, he accidentally slips away from the asylum and wanders into the town. At a local pub he joins the locals in celebration and it is here where he meets Paula (Greer Garson), a traveling showgirl whose maternal instincts lead her to deduce that ‘Smithy’, as she will christen him, is in need of the kind of pampering and attention unattainable in an asylum. She therefore whisks him away to a small countryside town where over the next few months; she helps to restore his dignity and confidence.

       As the months pass by they start to fall in love and are subsequently married. During his recuperation they discover that ‘Smithy’ has a talent for writing and after an editor agrees to interview him for a job at a London periodical, he sets off for the capitol. The hustle and bustle of post-war London are very far removed from the pastoral setting in which he has been living for the past year and in a moment of bewilderment he steps out into the street and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. He is knocked to the ground and when he awakens in a city hospital, we learn that his memory of his previous life has returned and that he remembers nothing that has transpired since being removed from a foxhole in France. The key to his new and now forgotten life is exactly that, a key, which is in pocket and opens the door to the cottage where his now unknown and expectant wife awaits him. It turns out that ‘Smithy’ is actually Charles Rainier, the son of a prominent aristocrat and businessman who has just passed away, leaving the bulk of his estate to his missing son.

       As he settles into his old life, Charles begins to assume power over the many facets of the Rainier empire. To help him stay in focus in regards to his many holdings, he has partnered himself with his extremely efficient and beautiful secretary, who turns out to be; yes, you guessed it, Paula. When ‘Smithy’ failed to return home after his interview, she learned of his remarkable recovery from his amnesia, and decided that confronting him with the truth of their life together could trigger a relapse that could be harmful to his health. Paula hopes that in time certain circumstances will arise that will cause him to remember the life they shared together in the country. Time passes and many improbable situations arise as the film concludes with the couple reuniting and living happily ever after. To list these situations would give away the ending, so I’ll leave it at that, but I still recommend this film to anyone who enjoys good drama from the golden age of Hollywood.

Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ˝ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ˝ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ˝ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ˝ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
˝ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.

(From Random Harvest (1942) on January 25th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Angel Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd

Angel: Season 2

9. The Trial
Original Air Date: 11/28/2000
Angel is still haunted by flashbacks of his 150-year love affair with Darla and has Gunn help track her down, but he soon discovers that he is faced with an impossible choice: watch her die from a terminal illness or use his dark powers to turn her back into a vampire and give her eternal life.

Guest Stars:
Christian Kane
Sam Anderson
Julie Benz
Juliet Landau

My Thoughts:
Another very good episode. I really liked the story. I of course enjoyed the flashbacks. And thought the ending was great. I also thought the test that Angel had to go through was entertaining as well.

My Rating:

(From Angel Marathon on March 3rd, 2010)
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