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Member's Reviews

Aurore, a review by RossRoy

Original Title: Aurore
Year: 2005
Country: Canada (Quebec)
Director: Luc Dionne
Rating: 16+
Length: 110 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: French: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English, French

What they say - (translated from French)
Quebec, May 1909 - It is dawn on Sainte-Philomène-de-Cartierville. Anne-Marie Caron, wife of Télésphore Gagnon, gives birth to their second daughter. Born at dawn, the child will be known as Aurore.

Aurore grew up in a united and happy family. That is, until tuberculosis changes everything. This disease carries away Aurore's adored mother.

Widow of just one week, Télésphore Gagnon, bewitched by his beautiful cousin Marie-Anne Houde, decides to marry her. Marie-Anne Houde then moved into the house and imposes her law.

The atmosphere of the house changes. Marie-Anne Houde is show in a different light. Sainte-Philomène-de-Cartierville shuts up and closes on itself. The young Aurore Gagnon dies. The inquest revealed that she died of blood poisoning due to abuse and numerous injuries inflicted by her stepmother. A highly publicized story that will simmer throughout Quebec, which will mark our collective memory forever.

My Thoughts
Like the back cover of the DVD says, this story has touched everyone in Quebec in one way or another. Everybody is affected by this story. Of course, being such a relatively old story, it all happened at the beginning of the last century after all, it has been ingrained in our collective cultural heritage here in Quebec. Even before seeing this movie, or the one that came before it, or before reading about it, I was still very much aware of Aurore's suffering, and the collective indifference to her situation.

Unfortunately, movies being the beast they are, and the actual events taking place so long ago, there's no way to know how much of it real, and how much of it was romanced. Still, from what I've read of the case in the past, they couldn't be all that far. And that, makes it a movie that is hard to bear. You know it actually happened. You know a young girl had to go through this. You know she wasn't alone. You know she wasn't the first. You know she wasn't the last.

I may be reading more than I should into this movie. But I can't help it. I can't help but think of all these children who are being abused, to this day, by a parent and/or close relative, and nobody will say anything. So many kids have had their lives turned into hell, only because nobody will talk.

And that's what this movie is all about. Yes, it's telling Aurore's story in particular. Yes, it's easy to say that the movie may not be faithful to the actual event. Yes, it's also easy to say that the movie is flawed because it may have tried to show the stepmother as being mad, instead of just mean.

But that's not the point. That's not what the director intended.

Aurore's story is mean to an end. What he's doing, is showing how a full community becomes just as guilty as the parents, because they ignored the cries of the children. Everybody knew, yet nobody did anything until it was too late. Everybody had their suspicions. Nobody went in, or even confronted the parents. Even after Aurore was treated for a full month in a hospital.

That's the message of the movie. If you have reason to suspect something, say something. Don't wait until it's too late.


(From RossRoy's Random Viewings on November 6th, 2008)

Member's Reviews

Inglourious Basterds, a review by KinkyCyborg

Title:Inglourious Basterds
Year: 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: R
Length: 153 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Brad Pitt
Mélanie Laurent
Christoph Waltz
Eli Roth
Michael Fassbender

Brad Pitt takes no prisoners in Quentin Tarentino's high-octane WWII revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds. As war rages in Europe, a Nazi-scalping squad of American soldiers, known to their enemy as "The Basterds," is on a daring mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Bursting with "action, hair-trigger suspense and a machine-gun spray of killer dialogue" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), Inglourious Basterds is "another Tarantino masterpiece" (Jake hamilton, CBS TV)!


My Thoughts:

Oh me, oh my!

I resolved to deviate slightly from my method of selecting movies to watch by making every 10th movie one I get to choose without the assistance of a random number generator in an effort to get in some movies I really want to see without having to wait on chance to choose it for me. There was no indecision or debate... I went straight for Inglourious Basterds. :)

Before I begin my review, let me preface it by saying this was the third movie I had watched today, a fact made quite obvious by the dirty looks my wife was giving me for residing on my hump for almost the entire day. I started to feel bad and guilty about it... until about 10 minutes into Basterds and then those feelings quickly went away!  :laugh:

I've had mixed reactions to Tarantino's previous movies... I liked Reservoir Dogs, REALLY liked Pulp Fiction  :dance: but was somewhat lukewarm to the Kill Bill movies. I've yet to watch Jackie Brown or his Grindhouse entry. I admit to buying into the hype of Basterds and given the WWII theme I was wired up to watch it and was hoping it lived up to the hype.

What a movie! Even though I expected it would be great it still exceeded all my expectations. Leave it to Tarantino to rewrite history! You expect all the shocks and surprises from one of Quentin's films and yet when they happen they still reach up and grab you by the balls (if you have them).  Sure there was sheer moments of complete implausibility born out of convenience to the plot but who gives a shit. Nobody was ever going to confuse this with a WWII documentary or think it was based on 'true events'.

Christoph Waltz... where did this guy come from?!?!  Like most people I had never heard of him till now but seemingly everyone knows him! Hans Landa was scary at first but as the movie progresses you begin to respect and admire his evil style and coy manipulations.  Well done! I also liked Til Schweiger in his limited screen time as German turncoat Hugo Stiglitz. Such a cool name... Stiglitz! Kind of rolls off the tongue...   :P  I actually thought Brad Pitt was the weak link in this movie. Some mustard with that ham?  ::) Yeeesh! Entirely too over the top. The scene where he is trying to pass himself off as an Italian at the movie premiere was completely absurd and even if it was meant to be it was still too much.

Some scenes and moments in this film will never be forgotten. The branding to the German soldiers who were lucky enough to survive the Basterds... the Jew Bear hitting a home run... the clever wordplay of Landa in the opening scene which revealed the hidden Jews without his men having to so much as lift a finger to search for them. All terrific!

If you haven't watched this already, do yourself a favor... go buy it, or at the very least pay the couple of bucks to rent it. ;)

I can't confirm this as I didn't see his name in the credits, but when Landa handed the radio back to Raine the OSS Commander who was giving Raine his instructions sure as hell sounds like Harvey Kietel. I played it back 3 times and I'll eat my hat if that's not him.  ;) I did catch the Samuel L. Jackson narration and I'm sure upon subsequent viewings there are more Tarantino alumni and references to be found.


(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010 on July 7th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom

     Familie Heinz Becker: Staffel 1 (1992/Germany)
IMDb | Wikipedia

Length:161 min.
Video:Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio:German: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Familie Heinz Becker
1.01 Der Dia-Abend
Writer: Gerd Dudenhöffer (Writer)
Director: Martin Kliemann
Cast: Gerd Dudenhöffer (Heinz Becker), Marianne Riedel (Hilde Becker), Gregor Weber (Stefan Becker), Drafi Deutscher), Angelika Kaufmann), Ingrid Braun), Alice Hoffmann), Rüdiger Weigang), Bernd Stenger)

A really funny German TV comedy series. Though the first season is rather weak. They hit their stride with the second season. One of the reasons for this was the cast change of the wife of the family. The actress playing the wife in seasons 2-4 is my favorite in the part. Funnily she is also in the first episode as another character, which has some similarities with how she played the wife later on.


(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on April 12th, 2011)