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Ronen's Rating System:

***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
** Don’t bother
* It’s so bad its almost good... not... These are films I walked out on, or just fell asleep
(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...

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Movie Review: Extract (2009) ***

Not a bad film, but far from being a great film either… It’s one of these films I ended up seeing as the least of many evils… Half an hour into the film I was already checking my wristwatch as to how much long will it play. There is nothing in particular bad about the movie – the plot is ok, the characters are fine and so is the directing. But it just a bore at times and loses pace. It feels more like a lazy TV drama than a movie. So if you have nothing better to see and still feel like watching a movie, this one an option.

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TV Review: House (2004-2009) ****

I’m not a big fan of medical dramas… But this one I watch on occasion. I guess what makes it different is its main Character, Dr. House, as well as its typical plot, which resembles more of a detective story than a typical E.R. drama. House’s character is interesting in that it’s not simply the good doctor to the rescue but rather a doctor with bad bedside manners yet a glimpse of forensic geniuses which makes him tolerable by his peers and the management. His bad manners actually make him favorable to the viewer as who would not want to be able to call things for what they are without prettying it up. Granted, House doesn’t just call things as they are – he combines it with a lot of fun sarcasm. All the characters are well played and directed. There is good character development and emotional depth. Yet I am giving it only 4 stars as there is so much medical drama one can stomach...

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Movie Review: Once (2007) ****

A sweet simple film. We can use more such movies these days…
Two somewhat brokenhearted musicians, from somewhat different cultures, meet and let the music they make together make them, each individually, a whole again. Good performances – both acting and singing. And when at the end of the film you care enough to know what will happen with these characters next, it’s a good sign that the filmmaker and cast were successful in making the story engaging.

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Foyle's War [TV] (UK, 2001-2010) *****

An excellent British detective drama, set up during WWII in Hastings, England, where Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, played superbly by Michael Kitchen, attempts to solves various crimes. The mysteries, much in Agatha Christie’s style, focus on crimes committed by profiteers, trying to take advantage of the confusion the war has created, by people with political agenda and by a host of other ill-intended folks.

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Movie Review: Taking Woodstock (2009) ****

Interestingly enough, when I finished watching this film I was thinking of dropping it from 4 stars, which is what I felt would be its rating almost till the end, to 3 stars, given the diluted ending. But by the time I sat down to write this review, the ending grew on me and felt appropriate, even if initially somewhat disappointing. So 4 stars it is.
I feel many of those who critiqued this film badly, had unanswered expectations – that this film will revive the Woodstock experience for them (even if they’ve never been there). But it seems to me that this film, directed by the capable Ang Lee, very consciously chosen to focus on anything but the center stage. And even when the center stage is shown from afar, it is through the mist of a drug illusion, a choice I believe Lee made consciously.
Woodstock, the swan song of a generation that would shortly after turn into anything but hippies, will remain a symbol. And the film, much like the real event, has no fireworks at the end, just a fading away. Yet the film is about transformation. And once it happens, Lee underplays it which gives it a somewhat dissatisfaction ending, appropriate in retrospective.
The casting is terrific. The plot mostly works until 2/3 into the movie, when it loses steam. One sore point is the mother’s character, a holocaust survivor whose acts are somewhat overplayed. This can be wrongly read by many of the viewers, a generation who doesn’t know that such people did really exist and therefore will either take it as a joke or as Jewish stereotype, a message I do not think was the filmmakers intention. Yet the film does capture the era by using colorful characters, music, atmosphere and even timely TV news reports, and so long as you know what you are stepping into, is a worthy journey in time which may also reflect on current events (“$1 for a bottle of water?!”).

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Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer (2009) ***

I can credit this film for being honest about love and relationships, that its sort of a mystery and that ‘boy loves girl’ for being the “one” does not mean girl will love boy back, even not at the film’s end. But that’s about it. Decent acting and directing do not save this film from becoming tiresome after a while. There are funny moments and there are some interesting moments. But neither the going back and forth in time nor the out of context jump to documentary-like black and white footage late in the film, save it from having nothing left to say that was not already said in the first 20 minutes or so of the movie. And for heaven’s sake, adding God voice (the narrator, that is) to a movie is a big no-no and needs a real good justification. If you need someone to read to you what the character is thinking then it means something is wrong with the movie or that the filmmaker is not trusting your intelligence to get it yourself...

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Latest Comments

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    I think, .... nothing, I haven't see the movie yet, it is c class.

    -- B

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    Well I haven't seen this movie yet, so I have no comments for now.

    -- Be

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    Well I haven't seen this movie yet, so I have no comments for now.

    -- Be

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    Well I haven't seen this movie yet, so I have no comments for now.

    -- Be

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    I agree about the relationship with Logan and Charles - added a lot of depth, especially with the next...

    -- ed

    Re: Eye in the Sky (2015, UK) *****

    Great Review Ronen!

    -- Scott

    Re: Movie Review: Ikiru (1952) *****

    Movie Night is the best for some relaxation. Laughter not only improves health, but also is a very good...

    -- Allyson

    Re: The Gods Must Be Crazy (South Africa, 1980) *****

    Citizen Watch Company is the exception to the rule when it comes to this area of business and they have...

    -- Replica Rolex Watches

    Re: Top Five (2014) ***

    wonderfully expressed review and very accurately describing the movie...

    -- Zoes mom

    Re: Begin Again (2014) ***

    such great performers - would have expected more of.... very disappointing to hear....

    -- mother of four

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