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Member's Reviews

Defiance, a review by Rich


Daniel Craig (James Bond: The Quantum of Solace) stars as Tuvia Bielski, an ordinary citizen turned hero, in this action-packed epic of family, honor, vengeance and salvation. Defiance is a riveting adventure that showcases the extraordinary true story of the Bielski brothers, simple farmers - outnumbered and outgunned - who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters. Tuvia, along with his unyielding brother, Zus (Liev Schreiber, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), motivate hundreds of civilians to join their ranks against the Nazi regime. Their "Inspirational story" (David Densby, The New Yorker) is a true testament to the human spirit.

Humbling feel good true story movie, for once not spoilt by Hollywood glamourising, delivers stunning cinematography, haunting soundtrack and amazing shoot locations. Craig works surprisingly well in his lead role of the courageous Tuvia Bielski, but for me the shine-out star was Liev Schreiber, an actor I have never really warmed to perhaps because of his Scream appearances, but here in his part of Tuvias' brother Zus, I found his performance outstanding.
The atmosphere works well, with dialogue intermixing between German, English and Russian, and the drama, action, human interest and love aspects are all finely sculpted together. Some may find the pace gets a bit clumsy at times, but it did not overall detract from my enjoyment.
Story-telling of the highest quality, with the ending of course updating the viewer on what happened to the many survivors after the war. Uplifting and recommended.

(From Riches Random Reviews on July 30th, 2009)

Member's Reviews

Cold Mountain, a review by Rich

Along Romania for third film of the day...

Directed by Anthony Minghella (THE ENGLISH PATIENT), this Civil War saga addresses romance, friendship, and the ravages of war--both in the field and on the home front. Far more than a simple love story, Minghella's film captures the horrors of war for both those fighting it, and for those left behind. Based on the Charles Frazier novel, this is a tale of hope, longing, redemption, second chances, and faith. Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) is a proper lady who accompanies her preacher father (Donald Sutherland) to Cold Mountain, North Carolina. She waits for her love, W.P. Inman (Jude Law)--a sensitive man with little use for many words--to return from war. In the process she learns basic survival skills and finds strength from no-nonsense Ruby (Renée Zellweger), a spitfire who can work the land as well as any man. Meanwhile, wounded Inman has had enough of war and killing, and is slowly working his way back to Ada despite the perils of being a Confederate deserter.

I had read the book, and IMO this is one of the rare occasions when the film actually matches or surpasses the original authors efforts. Atmospheric, beautifully filmed & combining a war film with a love story, with other elements thrown in. All the actors do a very convincing job, (ignoring the accents), and a solid film if overly long. Recommend watching if not seen before 8/10

(From Around the World in 80 DVD's on January 21st, 2008)

Member's TV Reviews

"Stargate SG-1" Marathon, a review by DJ Doena

Disc 2

Red Sky
Synopsis: The computer that controls the Earth gate doesn't implement all safety precautions a normal DHD has. This allows the SGC to open a Wormhole through a remote sun and this injects heavy elements into the sun's core. It starts with the sun going red but when the process can't be stopped the remote planet won't be able to support life any longer. SG-1 tries to undo their mistake.

My Opinion: A good episode about religious obsession and fatalism. I also liked how SG-1 tried everything to undo their mistake even against the resistance of the locals.

The Rite of Passage
Synopsis: Cassandra has become a teenager but suddenly her body goes haywire. She produces large fields of electricity and she can move metal objects. But she gets worse and the only remedy can be found on her home planet - Niirti experimented on the entire population.

My Opinion: I also liked this episode because it showed how much Sam as well as her stepmother Dr. Frasier care for Cassie.

Beast of Burden
Synopsis: Daniel is still watching the Unas on the home planet of the Goa'ulds, especially Chaka, the Unas that kidnapped him once. But then Chaka is kidnapped by people from another planet and put to work as a slave. Daniel tries to rescue him.

My Opinion: I like this episode very much because Daniel does anything in his might to help a non-human. This shows perfectly how Daniel perceives the world. But it also showed how problematic it is to interfere in another world's way of living that are different to our own.

The Tomb
Synopsis: During the 37 days the russian Stargate program was active there has been an inoffical unit, too. They have gone lost on a planet and SG-1 and a russian team go after them in a joint venture.

My Opinion: In this episode the russians were portrayed as too much of a cliché. But the russian Colonel who has been introduced at the end will return and he will turn out likeable.

(From "Stargate SG-1" Marathon on March 31st, 2008)