12:08 East of Bucharest, a review by Danae Cassandra
Where We Are: Romania
What We Watched:
A fost sau n-a fost? (12:08 East of Bucharest)
Year of Release: 2006
Directed By: Corneliu Porumboiu
Starring: Mircea Andreescu, Teodor Corban, Ion Sapdaru
Genre: Comedy?, Drama
ON THE SIXTEENTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, a local anchorman of a nearby provincial town invites two of his acquaintances to share their moments of revolutionary glory on his talk show. One is an impish, insightful retiree who sometimes poses as Santa Claus, the other a henpecked, hard-drinking teacher who has just devoted his entire salary to his drinking debts. Together they will remember the day when they stormed their town hall calling "down with Ceausescu." Or did they?
Maybe this is a film that plays better in it's home country, because this was the most boring film I've seen in several years. At a mere 85 minutes, this film was tediously long and we debated shutting it off. Nothing happens in this dreary little movie except to establish that the revolution may, or may not, have happened in this little town. If this is a comedy, it's an awfully bleak one with few moments of humor. The characters are reasonably fleshed out and the actors do a good job, but the only likeable character was Mr. Piscoci, and he didn't have nearly enough dialog.
I wouldn't mind seeing Mr. Piscoci in another film, as that character was interesting and amusing and is responsible for all the 1 and a half stars I'm giving the film. Recommended for no one and I wouldn't watch it again.
Bechdel Test: Fail
(From Around the World in 86 Movies on January 7th, 2014)
Saw III, a review by Rich
Title: Saw III
TV Ep. Count:14
Plot:In this Extreme Edition of Saw III, prepare for a truly terrifying experience from the master of cruelty. With extended scenes which have never been seen before, Saw III Extreme Edition features more gore, more shocks, more Saw. Suffering? You definitely haven't seen anything yet...
Jigsaw has disappeared. Along with his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished.
While city detectives scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) and Jeff Reinhart (Angus Mcfadyen) are unaware that they are about to become the latest pawns on his vicious chessboard.
Having enjoyed and marvelled at the originality of Saw 1, and been entertained by the breakneck Saw 2, this latest offering I viewed was a come-down.
There was little tension as witnessed in earlier films, the interjection of humanity was misplaced, and the gore was messy and nasty. The prémis of revenge and distress was a reasonable plot for such a film, I just wasn't convinced by the delivery, nor the performance of the gorgeous Shawnee Smith as the apprentice to Jigsaw.
There is a point when some films lose focus, this did that by what at times can only be described as more and more disgustingly violent and distressingly gory scenes, culminating in the 'chest' scene. Some sleight of hand, alluding to terrorising acts can be much scarier, but when it is slapped in your face like this the impact is unappealing.
There seems little merit in this Saw franchise going any further, but as we know there is now Saw 4 and 5 to digest at some point.
Out of a Possible 5
(From Rich's October Horror Fest on October 18th, 2009)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Marathon, a review by DJ Doena
A Simple Investigation
Synopsis: A woman tried to contact a man on the station to purchase something from him, but he gets killed before they can meet. When she tries to steal it, Odo catches her and starts an investigation. The woman is wanted by the Orion Syndicate, the most powerful criminal organization in the quadrant, and Odo tries to protect her and to help her. But he also falls in love with her.
My Opinion: Odo's love life. Not interested in I am.
Business as Usual
Synopsis: Since his business license has been revoked, Quark is almost broke and now another deal has gone down. His knight in shining armor is his cousin Gaila (who once tried to kill Quark), but the business he's in is illegal: He's a weapons dealer and he wants Quark to join him. At first that seems like a good idea, but then he loses his Federation friends on the station and later he might lose his life.
My Opinion: Quark has always been a crook and he probably will always be one. He has purchased and sold illegal goods all his life. But it's good to see that even he has a moral line where he says "till here and no further". And I liked it how he played the leaders of this bloody struggle against each other.
Somehow I feel the urge to watch Lord of War again.
Ties of Blood and Water
Synopsis: Once, Kira was surgically altered to look like a Cardassian. She was supposedly the daughter of a high ranking cardassian officer in the Central Command. Now this man, her "father", comes to the station. He's dying and he's alone and he wants her to know all his secrets to use it as leverage - a cardassian tradition when one is dying. But seeing him die reminds Kira of the death of her own father back in the days of the occupation.
My Opinion: Five years ago it was unimagenable that Kira would care so deeply for a Cardassian. I liked it how they switched between the current timeline and here memories of the death of her father and I liked it that she buried Ghemor beside her real father. I know exactly how she must have felt. One year ago my grandfather died and I often sat beside him in the hospital and saw the diminishing sparkle of light in his eyes.
Ferengi Love Songs
Synopsis: Quark is depressed and Rom wants to marry Leeta, one of the bajoran Dabo-Girls in Quark's bar. But when Quark returns home to Ferenginar, to visit his mother, he learns the she and the Grand Nagus Zek are a couple. Brunt (FCA) wants to break them up and he needs Quarks help. Meanwhile Leeta and Rom break up because she doesn't want to sign a standard Ferengi marriage contract (which of course leaves her with no rights and no money during and after the marriage).
My Opinion: This was a fun episode. It's funny how Quark's family breaks with all traditions: Ishka wears clothes, does business and even acts as first financial advisor to the Grand Nagus (secretly of course) and Rom gives all his savings (ok, it wasn't that much) away because he loves Leeta. And Quark stands in the middle of it and just wants to be a normal Ferengi - but at least he's got his business license back.
(From Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Marathon on February 1st, 2009)