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9/10
nice film
10 October 2019
The movie does what it generally sets out to.

Most of the movies of this type tend to rotate around a basic story. The end is a reveal that tells you why what you thought was wrong. In some cases the characters come together, in others they don't. Depends on the story. I quite enjoyed it.

============================================================= -Having seen many mystery movies/detective movies that run on the same premise. Pretend like the protagonist is intelligent by not showing you the clues they find until the end. -Similar to many action movies. Fighting for the sake of it with magic bullets in most cases. If you enjoy those kinds of movies, you might like this one or you might not.

Some of the other comments seem quite odd. They seem to try and understand the movie from an external aspect without getting into the culture/genre. Most of the focus for top students trying to get into a good university would be around their schooling... if you were making a movie about a war, you would have a large percent of the movie focused on the war.

If you want graphic sexual movies, there are plenty of those. If you want random sexual aspects that needn't be depicted directly, then you look for other kinds of movies. This isn't intended to be obscene. It is intended to entertain, encourage people to take action in their lives if the situation fits etc. or just tell a story.

-The movie is supposed to show how gaps can exist in knowledge and expectation. To show how longing can be heartbreaking for some people while others have reasons for choosing that same longing. -Finally, while it is beneficial to have knowledge about the culture before watching the movie, it is still a standalone movie, and needn't be used to infer too much.
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Hide and Seek (2016)
8/10
Thriller with intentional twists.
10 July 2019
The path is misdirection and new unveils. This is the similar set-up for most mystery, suspense, who-dun-it style films.

This is a great example of cultural critique mixed in with a film to point out the differences in living standards, legal procedures etc. Very interesting film based on its delivery. Is available on netflix with subtitles and dubs if needed. There are some moments where you question the characters's decisions, but otherwise, this is an enjoyable film. Much better than most I have seen recently
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Last Letter (2018)
8/10
Nice film
29 June 2019
Quite slow but also enjoyable to watch. The various parts of the film flow together nicely. The death coupled with the memories did give it a good set up. Some of it seems a bit odd, but that is intentional. Overall, worth a watch.
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6/10
Sad story- okay plot
29 June 2019
The story is about the longing one character has for the other. He gets strung on and has trouble letting go. The plot, especially with the French part. It doesn't make any sense. How did the Chinese guy get a visa so quickly? Doesn't really add up. The rest of it isn't too bad. The part I dislike was the French part, especially the focus on their money and spending, which is sadly too common. The full story is good, but if you have trouble understanding it, it might get a little boring+odd.
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6/10
Fine
19 June 2019
The movie is long. The movie is weird. It doesn't have a lot of cogent aspects and is very much illogical. However, there are superhero movies making billions and comedies like the hangover are popular, so I guess this gets a 6. I watched it to practice my Chinese. Movie drifts into various different genres and is overall okay, nothing good. On iqiyi with subtitles. If you like cartoons like the avengers or the hangover, you will probably like this. If you think there is a difference in the quality of both, I feel sorry for you. Good acting, good sound, effects. Only a weak plot.
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Us and Them (2018)
8/10
The realities we face
16 June 2019
The ending is touching. The story shows success through failure. It is a very common scene. The difference between the past and present is mostly separated by time and money. In order to reduce this, it is important to accept that change must come from somewhere else, be it family or love.
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8/10
A bit different but still touching
16 June 2019
The continuous shift between the various characters and the overall ending were quite nice. You do get to see the change in the personalities of the characters over time, which is what I wanted to see in this film.

There wasn't a sad ending. It was quite fitting. Considering the development of the film over time, you can begin to see where it was going. As more and more of the story is unveiled, you start to understand the complexities that were not apparent at the beginning.

This movie was made to make people feel the sadness that comes from love and loss. If you don't have any feelings toward these topics, the movie can be quite boring. If you are an "emotional" person, you will most likely enjoy this film. Some of the other reviewers mentioned that the translations were off. I am not sure about this as I watched it in the original language of filming. A lot might get lost in translation, so do try to have someone who can explain any parts you don't understand.

Well worth a watch, though I am unsure if anyone outside of the target market will get around to it.

I stayed away from talking about the story as the story needs to be viewed in completion to get the value. If you think this is vague, it is. It is meant to be.
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8/10
Decent film about the change in Shanghai
16 June 2019
The movie is available on Iqiyi and does have English subtitles for those that can't understand Chinese. This film focuses on three different parts. The first is the base love story that develops between the main characters. It is highlighted in numerous parts and shows the growth from beginning to end. Their relationship changes to match the feeling of the film. The construction of the project and the destruction of the home. The second part is the focus on Zhao dan. He seems like a person, similar to Chaplin, who was famous in the "golden age". I will check out some of his films in the future. His image is focused on through the various elderly people who show some of the same issues "we" in the "west" may see in films. Chaplin was the most famous in the world. Today, the most famous doesn't compare at that level of popularity. Similarly, the jokes about the changes in Chinese culture over the time are interesting. Finally, the characters portrayed are based on everyday people, as were Chaplin's. The last part is the change in Shanghai. The change from the 20's till the present day are pretty simple. The destruction of the old simply shows the destruction of Shanghai as a city. While its skyscrapers remain, the majority have been left behind, replaced by foreign entrants (both Chinese and non-Chinese). The final scene encapsulates this quite clearly.

This is one of the better movies I have seen in a while. It might not translate to those who can't understand the language or the feeling. Pretension vs. profit. culture vs. taste. Money vs. history. All of these themes are clear in the film. If you have a chance, do see it. It will help in understanding Shanghai a bit better, rather than just limiting it to the modern city.
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6/10
Nothing worth watching
1 January 2019
I'm sure that it was funny at the time. I'm sure people liked the humor, music, and slow story. There is so little detecting in this case as it plays on a rather easy story. Numerous points don't add up, especially at the end. The story is concluded, but any sane person would not have done the crime and confessed at the end. On the other hand, a crazy person would not have either. The culture of the time was truly weird. Thank goodness I didn't live in that hellish time. The acting is fine. The jokes are dull. The only interesting character is the dog. I will probably go through the whole series if I can. I do hope it isn't as disappointing as this one.
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9/10
Powerful
30 December 2018
The acting is solid, the characters are well-written, the plot is clear and easy to understand. Ignoring the setting and the time of the film, this piece does carry through. By that, I mean that the film is superb. It has numerous periods of careful thought. The writing is amazing. A few new words to learn, and a whole lotta useful information (that I already had) to share with others and use myself.

This is a story of love. 3-6 different kinds of love. The writer's feelings and character are clear in the film. Watch this film because it has what you want to see: a slow, clear story with little to no plot twists. Still, you keep hanging on each word and scene.
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The Apartment (1960)
8/10
Odd film
30 December 2018
While looking for a good New Year's movie, I came across this as one of many. It has an interesting storyline. The acting is great. The music, scenes, and all else is well worth it. With the exception of the good doctor, there isn't a character who isn't a degenerate. Sign of the times I guess. Then, people knew there was no such thing as hard work. Thank goodness for the 60's and onwards, or we'd still be in a backward place. Great film to research the class/gender struggles of the time, and the lack of "morality" within the characters. The film is a great look into a horrible time. Would definitely recommend it, especially those trying to avoid making the same mistakes again.
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5/10
Finished it
30 December 2018
I don't believe that this was an interesting movie in any sense. The music throughout was nice. The constant nudity, sheer inane characters that kept popping up, and the overall story seem very dreary. It is possible that this was supposedly existential, in that once the main event happens, it is largely ignored. However, in order for that to be plausible, it would require less emotion from the main character. The simplicity of the film is in its ability to not be serious. Random trips to places, money just showing up out of nowhere, no repercussions. If you find this level of escapism (of the main characters from their job) interesting, there are hundreds/thousands of Chinese films with the exact same plot, money coming in, showing the partying/spending of the money, learning some lesson at the end. Only difference is the nudity..
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8/10
Tremendous film, though a bit missing.
29 December 2018
I quite enjoyed this film as I was looking for a few Christmas movies. The acting and music is very fitting. The story is clear. It is just a story, nothing more. It is a different kind of meaning to love, relationships, and separation. The value that each character brings is completely necessary. None of the characters are reliable except the Lieutenant, which I assume is meant to be the audience. There seems to be an epic 2-3 hour film there to be made. Sadly, it seems quite rushed. There isn't a solid introduction on any of the characters. There isn't a solid conclusion to the story. It is extremely quick. Therefore, I enjoyed the story. However, the execution was not perfect. Worth watching if you are looking for a comfortable film.
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4/10
Like Jaws and Star Wars, for its time.
29 December 2018
Looking for a few Christmas films to watch, I came across this one. I was hoping there would be something interesting within it. The sets are good. The story is pretty simple and clear. The humor is non-existent to me. The musical parts are quite enjoyable. Seeing a variety of the characters from numerous children's stories did make it worth finishing. I rated this quite poorly because I did not gain much in the way of entertainment from the film. To others, I am sue this provides you with either nostalgic memories or some other connection to the time passed. I would not recommend this to anybody I know.
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6/10
Odd film, long film, meaningful and yet moronic.
23 December 2018
Having read that this was one of the earliest films to deal with the complex issues that face soldiers after the war, I was quite interested in watching it. Knowing the period, I knew it would be quite long and drawn out.

The movie starts of well. It goes through the initial moments clearly and sets up a good story. The middle is at times dull, and yet cheerful to me, as the viewer. The end had numerous annoyances, and did not appeal to me. The need to have a happy ending for such a serious topic seems to be where pre-vietnam movies lacked. The few topics addressed include: being treated badly, being misused, family/relationship troubles. These all exist today, and are serious issues.

With the love of violence and mass murder of the culture, it makes sense that such a movie was/could have been very popular. The ease of transition for some of them does make the film quite disappointing on further thought. All in all, the times were different, though the problems are still primary when we think about returning soldiers/terrorists from these countries.

Worth a watch, especially for those that like strong performances. The acting is superb. The story is the letdown, not the amazing work of the actors.
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10/10
Completely Satisfied on all Accounts.
22 December 2018
Having just read about this movie being one of the earliest movies about PTSD or soldiers that wasn't blatant propaganda, I decided to watch it.

The starting is very well done. There was a short action scene at the start to show the affect that a serious issue can have on a person. The feeling of the time, though I wouldn't know about it, nor do I largely care, was apparently well captured in the film.

The various shifts, from the light-hearted jokes to the serious situations left me wanting little more from this movie.

The two main characters are by far the draws. They clearly show how the hypocrisy of a person in the moment can be dealt with, especially when the person is able to truly believe in what they say.

The hilariously ugly costumes and sets are also a sign of the times.

The only thing I would have liked would have been to see the ending close out what happened with the main character's job.

Definitely one of my new favourite films.
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8/10
Enjoyable.
24 November 2018
The story was quite interesting to me. After having seen some rather poor quality movies where the sole idea in the movie revolved around money or simple action, it was nice to come across this one as I await some of the movies to come out online for 2018.

The story focuses on a small motel, beautifully painted, near the Disney park. World?Land? Don't know, don't care.

The two central themes are the struggles that some people face, while still being able to enjoy their existence. It shows the human aspect of poverty. It does highlight how hard it is for some, and the serious dangers there are in society where many gray areas exist.

The other theme, after the economic disparity, is the idea of responsibility. It is very clearly pointed out when Dafoe is confronted on two occasions. If you watch the film, you will understand the importance and the disconnect, though it isn't clearly stated.

The constant shifts do make the movie worth watching. The end is a bit out-of-whack. Make of it what you want. Beats reality. The acting is believable. The accents are a bit annoying, which make it a bit hard to pick up at times.

All in all, would suggest watching it if you are looking for a good standalone film.
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I'm Dying Up Here: Lines Crossed (2018)
Season 2, Episode 10
8/10
Enjoyable for the most part.
13 August 2018
This was the final episode in the season, possibly the series (I am not sure at the time).

The story certainly seems to have reached its peak. If it were to continue it would be extremely dull. They would end up repeating stories or just drawing on random new characters.

The constant shifts in this episode keep you guessing. As it is based on a real event, the audience might know the general direction it was heading.

Without revealing much, there are a few satisfying conclusions for the characters that are poignant. The demeanor certainly shifts as you get to the end of the episode. I wasn't left wanting much more.

Some questions I had that weren't completely answered in the season will hopefully be left aside. There isn't a need for another season. If they do come out with one, I will likely skip it. The story seems perfectly complete and gave the closure that new episodes based on singular-problems, new character development, and day-to-day running of the club can not.

Great season, great finale...I hope.
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2/10
Made 400 million.
12 August 2018
The movie is the third in the series. The story is the exact same as the first one, with the ending the same as the second. There are too many plot holes that don't make any sense, let alone geographical errors that don't add up to mean anything. Since the main characters are white - I think this is a solid white power film, just as if the characters in most Chinese movies succeeding over others despite all odds is a "Chinese power" film. The characters do not have any depth. After 3 movies, they still haven't focused on how these thieves always seem to succeed. Suddenly, they appear to have worked for some intelligence agency. They can speak any language, all the Chinese people apparently can speak and understand each other despite geographical barriers and centuries separating them. If you liked this film, life must be great for you. For the rest of us, the film helps us understand why there are many problems in the world. Joking, but only barely.
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3/10
Meh
12 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The second in a trilogy, though I am unsure if a third was intended at the completion of this film. I just completed the trilogy and will sadly see the new film as well.

The cinematography isn't bad. The story is worse than the first one. The characters are about the same. The lone exception is the child, which meant that the film would be horrible. It is bad enough that the "good" characters have superhuman abilities to avoid any danger, they can also come back from the dead.

I am unsure if this was used in the first or second film, but the phrase, "Mortal weapons cannot hurt him/kill him." He does seem to be able to get hurt with a few punches though. If a bullet doesn't hurt, why would a punch/rock/anything else?

In conclusion, this is a stupid film. It is good if you want to sleep, as I did towards the end (the first time). If you like it, you will probably be happy in life, as you like films that treat you like a child.

It made a lot of money, which isn't shocking. Hopefully the people that paid for it had a horrible fate befall them. If you think that is harsh, good for you. The film is painfully bad, though not as bad as the third.
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The Mummy (1999)
4/10
Mild headache
12 August 2018
Decided to write a review after seeing all three films today. Quite happy with the first one after seeing the other "masterpieces". This film definitely had it all, people killing for no reason, evil triumphing over good, the true love that the mummy has being not developed properly (at least until the second film). The acting is as you would expect, which means that it was bad. The story is as comical as any. The inability to harm the major characters fits with the culture.

In conclusion, if you go into this expecting anything other than some good cinematography, you are an idiot. If you enjoyed it, don't watch the next two films. Be happy that you saw the best in the series and end it there. If you can turn off your brain for a while, this might be fun. On the other hand, YouTube has tons of conspiracy theory videos on ancient Egypt, which might be better.
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6/10
Similar to Ghosted, which deservedly got cancelled.
26 July 2018
Stumbled onto this show while looking for something to watch last night. Having just sat through the quite dull "Ghosted" first season, I was skeptical about this one. I had little information on the show before going in. It had the same plot description. The budget for this show seems to have been better spent. There is a focus on monsters so far. Hopefully it doesn't change into an office-based show because of the viewers or the budget. They need to keep coming up with fresh ideas to fill air time. The quality of the show is okay. There is nothing too special about the characters, and the humor is mild for the most part. If you enjoy similar "drab" (personal opinion) shows, you will find this good. There isn't much in terms of slapstick humor, but it is still mildly amusing.

I will most likely wait for the entire season to come out before watching it in one sitting. Hopefully the first few episodes won't draw me in just to disappoint me.
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Ghosted (I) (2017)
3/10
Unsure of the changes throughout the season
18 July 2018
The show begins quite well. The setup is clear. The scenes are good. I do believe that I laughed once in the first episode. The entire plot is not meant to be taken seriously. The problem with that is that it isn't allowed to develop. The characters constantly seem to be pulling at each other. Instead of developing any basic characters, the show does seem to change through the first 15 episodes. The special effects appear to have only been for the pilot. The high-paced job boils down to an office show after a few episodes. The focus shifts from the creatures to the people. I'm sure it will succeed with its elderly television audience but won't have enough to appeal to the average viewer.

The actors don't mesh well. The plots are comedic, i.e. laughable. The show didn't make me laugh, think, or even want to watch it. As I had gotten the first 15 eps, I watched them all. I hoped for some change in my enjoyment, but none came. I hope that these actors can find a different show to be in. The team is quite good (the secondary characters - outside the main 5-6), and they should definitely be in other things. The main characters are dull and should be happy to get paid for this show.
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A.P. Bio (2018– )
2/10
Extremely dull.
18 July 2018
Being previously entertained by the work of Patton Oswalt and enjoying other actos on the show from different podcasts, I decided to give this a chance. I saw a full season that I could binge. Sadly, I have stopped watching after the first episode. I understand the current state of being *politically incorrect* as a humorous aspect of comedy, but I don't think that any part of the first episode was entertaining. If you continued to watch the rest of the season, I hope it gets/got better. I will skip it and try to find another way to spend a few hours tonight. I have kept this vague as others may want to check out the episode for themselves without any spoilers. I would recommend against that.
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7/10
Comprehensive look at a specific case
19 March 2014
This is a 98 minute long documentary that is directed by John Kastner, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The film explores the issue of mental illness in relation to the criminal act committed by Sean Clifton. It explores the violent altercation that included him stabbing a woman multiple times at a Wal-Mart. The film explores the basic criminal process that occurred that led to Clifton being declared not criminally responsible, being sent to a mental hospital and dealing with his life after that.

In exploring this story, it is important to note that only Sean and his roommates stories are focused on. While it is necessary to note that this is a film about mentally ill individuals, it should not be considered to encompass all forms of mental illness nor all all individuals.

Having just watched the film, it is important to identify that the story is written to be heartwarming, in that it follows Sean's rehabilitation and reintegration and how mental illness for him is controllable. The insertion of comedic lines by the various individuals in the film allow for some relief from the truly horrific actions that did occur. The victim, and her family represent the opposing view. It is plain to see that they are still affected by the violence that occurred, as they should be, and because of this they present an alternate view to the filmmaker's and Sean and the hospital staff.

The differing viewpoints and the chronological story telling allow for a deeper look at the impact that mental illness can have on an individual, allowing them to be overtaken by "another" force that they cannot control.

It seems to detract from the current Canadian governments ideas surrounding mental health, which are incarceration rather than rehabilitation, and decreased funding for mental health asylums. This documentary does not explore the deeper social issues that are simply mentioned (his failure with women, homeless with mental health issues benefiting from entering the criminal system).

On the whole, it was definitely watchable, with adequate intellectual stimulation and entertainment that has a message that it aims to present, and would definitely be worth a watch if you have any interest in the criminalization of the mentally ill or rehabilitative practises.
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