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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: Cold Souls (2009) ****

After a film about the estimated weight of the soul (21 Grams), comes a film exposing how does a soul extracted from the body looks like (various shapes, most notably like a chickpea…). But what the soul really looks like is anyone’s guess.
In this light exercise of combining comedy and philosophy, casting Paul Giamatti as his tortured self proves a good choice. The only other choice I can think of is Woody Allen but that would have been too boring… Wait a minutes – aren’t most of Allen’s movies where he casts himself, feature him as a tortured soul?...
The film suffers here and there from pace issues but overall is pretty enjoyable. It follows its own logic and the supporting cast does a good job.
It reminded me of the old Yiddish story about the Trouble Tree – how at the end each of the villagers who hung his bundle of troubles on the tree and joined the others circling it, ended up picking back up his own bundle. As the saying goes - better the devil you know…
Side note – at the theater, sitting a few seats from us, was a person that would have been hired without doubt to sit at the audience during live comedy shows on TV in the days preceding canned laughter… The guy was loudly enjoying himself endlessly… or maybe his soul was extracted, and light from a burden lifted only laughter remained…

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Movie Review: Still Walking (2008) ****

Get ready for a v-e-r-y slow ride… But one that can be rewarding. Think Bergman but without the darkness. Hirokazu Koreeda patiently draws a portrait of a Japanese family in a structure somewhat resembling a short story in that it is physically taking place over 24 hours (though there is a significant epilog at the end), at one major location, and with a limited number of characters. Veil after veil we come to understand the different characters, their at times complex relationships, and in the process, hopefully, learn something about ourselves. Though beautifully shot and acted, when I watched the movie at the theater, some people were snoring (and loud…) so this film is not for everyone, and definitely not if you are tired...

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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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Latest Comments

    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: 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

    Re: Waltz with Bashir (2008) *****

    Stunned. Speechless. This is a powerful movie. Its objectivity and lack of judgment IS its power, and...

    -- Monroe Movie Lover

    Re: Inception (2010) ***

    Special effects are more than ever present even in drama movies, its almost normal that an action thriller...

    -- Alvaro

    Re: The Real Dirt On Farmer John (2005) ***

    Interesting though i was expecting more of the film.

    -- rondnor

    Re: Midnight Run (1988) *****

    great movie indeed

    -- rondnor

    Re: The Bounty Hunter (2010) *

    wont bother then

    -- superair

    Re: Stardust (2007) *****

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie :-)watching Robert De Niro in a dress what could be better.Enjoy

    -- YRD

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