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Average User Score: 7.2Sep 24, 2016Well done, informative, and entertaining, but with the sad ending that Snowden himself predicted: His worst fear was that nothing would changeWell done, informative, and entertaining, but with the sad ending that Snowden himself predicted: His worst fear was that nothing would change (except to get worse).
And so it is.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Jul 5, 2015A great overview on the basics. Those interested in delving deeper into the history and research should access the many lectures given byA great overview on the basics. Those interested in delving deeper into the history and research should access the many lectures given by Taubes and Lustig for free on Youtube. If you've already studied this issue you'll probably find Fed Up to be a bit basic, however it's still compelling. It puts a face on the devastation. Very young and desperately unhappy faces. It's heart wrenching when a child is obese because the parents swallow the hype of Lean Hot Pockets and breakfast cereal and worse, they can't afford to feed their children better than they are anyway. The one quibble I have with Fed Up is the claim that healthy food is just as cheap or cheaper than unhealthy food. Simply not true. If you go to the grocery store with $20 for a week you won't be buying fresh meat and produce. You'll be buying bread, Mac and Cheese, and sweets. The comparison Fed Up made was between restaurant food and grocery store food. The real comparison needs to be made between grocery store meat and produce and grocery store processed food.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jun 27, 2015A fantastic dark comedy for those of us who have lived on a steady diet of reality crime and have sometimes stooped to lapping up theA fantastic dark comedy for those of us who have lived on a steady diet of reality crime and have sometimes stooped to lapping up the salacious content of crime show talk shows. I wonder, was Nancy Grace flattered or offended by the obvious (and brilliantly executed) spoof of her persona?… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Jun 19, 2015Whether through brilliant editing and brilliant subject selection or through genuine portrayal, the trainers come off as wholly sympathetic.Whether through brilliant editing and brilliant subject selection or through genuine portrayal, the trainers come off as wholly sympathetic. And it is clear that many of them are distressed over the treatment of the animals in their care and over their own participation in the exploitation of killer whales.
Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, meanwhile, comes off as devious, ruthless, and wholly unsympathetic. For me the salient points in determining that those running the park are indeed all of the above are the lies they told the public through their trainers.
First lie: Orcas don't live as long in the wild as they do in captivity. This is a blatant falsehood, the lifespan of orcas in captivity is much shorter than that of orcas in the wild. Only through cunning manipulation of statistics can Seaworld even attempt to assert otherwise. Orcas in the wild have a lifespan similar to humans. In captivity, it's a rare orca that lives to see age 30.
Even worse is the lie that calves are not separated from their mothers (as told to the public in Seaworld's spin ads after Blackfish released). Calves are indeed separated from their mothers, and when Seaworld denies this, they are using verbal trickery and hoping viewers don't realize that in the wild orcas stay with their mothers all their lives. So when Seaworld says it doesn't separate calves, what it means is, it permits calves to stay with their mothers for a certain number of years before separation. This does not mimic wild behavior. In fact, Seaworld does not even wait until the calves are in their teens to inflict separation, even though orcas don't reach full maturity until then.
When a trainer expressed her concern over a calf being separated from its mother, she was mocked ruthlessly by a Seaworld exec. The trainers have genuine love and concern for the animals in their care, but the corporate decision makers are infinitely ruthless.
Furthermore, orcas are not in family groups while in captivity. Orcas from different parts of the globe (with correspondingly different languages and customs) are forced together in ways that would never take place in the wild. And because of the close quarters, all orcas are forced into unnatural acts of aggression, since a dominant member cannot chase away a rival because there is no open ocean for the rival to flee to.
Finally, it is evident from the documentary that, while the trainers were dedicated and to some extent well-trained, they were not always made aware of the dangerous nature of their employment. Attacks were explained away as trainer error or non-aggressive behavior, and the danger presented by Tilikum in particular was not fully revealed to his trainers, though it was clearly known to the higher ups.
I grew up in Orlando, and I have many happy Seaworld memories, but I'm convinced by Blackfish: Orcas don't belong in captivity.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jun 15, 2015Loved all of the acting and the dialogue, especially the humor. I'll be vague on my two quick nitpicks so as not to give anything away: TheLoved all of the acting and the dialogue, especially the humor. I'll be vague on my two quick nitpicks so as not to give anything away: The bridge scene came off as too coincidental and unrealistic and the outcome of the daughter's party seemed unnecessary to the plot.
But the answer to poverty and exploitation is not to hope your kid runs fast enough to escape it. The answer is to end poverty and exploitation. I hope one day Disney makes films about labor movements (we have a rich, violent, and riveting history to draw from up to the present day). Or how about a film on the Black Seminole slave rebellion? It's a story never been told that would make an amazing movie.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.4Jun 14, 2015Five stars even though this movie came out silly. Star 1: Anti-capitalist theme. Hey, I'm a commie and not even afraid to say so. I enjoyFive stars even though this movie came out silly. Star 1: Anti-capitalist theme. Hey, I'm a commie and not even afraid to say so. I enjoy two things in movies above all others: transcending our ultimate human physical limit, which is death, and transcending our ultimate human psychological limit, which is selfish greed. Star 2: I want those skates. I want a lot of the technology in this movie, in fact. Star 3: I enjoyed almost all of the make-up and costuming effects. Star 4: This movie could have been solid as a year long series or even a mini-series but that would have made the special effects impossibly expensive. Sadly, the characters and plot just didn't have time to develop in a believable way as a film. Star 5: I played The Secret World, which referenced the bee mythology, so I had a vague idea of where they were going with that. Again, sadly, no time to realize the potential there.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jan 29, 2015I'm thankful that I didn't read a detailed plot synopsis or do more than skim a few reviews before finally seeing Her. More than any movieI'm thankful that I didn't read a detailed plot synopsis or do more than skim a few reviews before finally seeing Her. More than any movie I've ever seen, my opinion of this film is based on who I am and where I've been in my life, and I think that will be true for everyone who sees it, whether they love it or loathe it. In its own way, this alone makes Her a work of art.
Regardless of what you bring to this film, writers, particularly screenwriters, will benefit from studying the superb craftsmanship, particularly the flawless foreshadowing and its use in the expression of theme.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Sep 4, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Scarlett Johansson's acting ability is impressive. Morgan Freeman delivers exposition as beautifully as expected. The movie was at times fun to watch. And I'm happy the people writing screenplays are currently fascinated with transcending human limitations through science (although in this case the black market designer drug variety of science). I wish the people in charge of allocating government research funding in real life were half as fascinated. Unfortunately that bunch seems more interested in the type of research that makes things (and people) blow up. Not that this movie didn't have plenty of that. Not that I mind when it's a movie. Here ends my praise for Lucy, here begins the snark and spoilers. Don't say you weren't warned! The movie starts falling apart around the time drugs turn Lucy's eyes a CGI shade of blue. Then it manages to recapture my interest during a police standoff in which Lucy meets her ever-after-to-be-bewildered love interest. But only Robert Heinlein could have created a terser 'boy meets girl, well that's all settled then' sequence. Immediately after she kisses him so he'll keep following her around like a bewildered collie dog, a car chase ensues. It lacks all suspense because Lucy is behind the wheel and obviously isn't going to wreck (wreck herself, anyway, she manages to ruin the day and increase car insurance rates for plenty of innocent bystanders). Here the dialogue really rubs logic the wrong way when Lucy proclaims that no one ever really dies, even as she races with obvious urgency and aforementioned vehicular carnage to extend her own life, apparently in order to share what she has learned with the rest of humanity. But really, what's the rush, won't it all come around again or something mystically eternal like that? The movie then collects itself a final time for an ending I found superficially profound. Until I thought about what the message is in the context of the movie itself. The plot wraps up with Lucy's voiceover, “Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what you can do with it.” Okay, who doesn't want to control time and everything else? (Shut up, yes you do. You just don't want anyone to think you're a control freak. You'd jump at the chance.) But what steps is this movie suggesting we take in order to attain such lofty post-human heights, exactly? Step 1: Have a shady boyfriend encourage you to drink lots of alcohol, distract you from your studies, and get you mixed up with ruthless drug dealers before he gets himself killed. Step 2: When circumstances permit, arrange to become an unwilling drug mule for the ruthless drug dealers, get groped by one, and make sure he slaps you around a bit so as to accidentally release a lot of designer drugs into your system. Now you should have some transcendent power flowing through your veins, so move on to Step 3: With those powers you can straighten everything out (except road safety in France) by first gaining control over yourself, then getting control over other people (shut up, you know you want to make your mother-in-law river-dance on the Thanksgiving Turkey this year), then getting control over pretty much everything, and finally take control over time itself. At which point you can go directly to Step 4: turn yourself into an organic super computer, then go back in time and have a chat with one of humanity's furry predecessors, or at least lock eyes and touch pointer fingers E.T.-style with one. But when you return to the present there's still violence, blood, gore, and ignorant humanity, so you pass along what you've learned while your new, cleaner-cut (at least as far as the standards of French police goes) boyfriend kills some guy who was about to shoot you in the back of the head while you were time-surfing. Proving that you sure didn't change anything with that whole time travel trip. Which step was that one again? Sorry, I lost track. But I guess maybe we can pretend that step made sense because maybe the time-line branched off when Lucy met anthropology Lucy (yes, that Lucy) and in some other branch of time humanity evolved into something much more decent? Whatever. On to the Final Step: Text message your new love interest to let him know you are everywhere. Very stalkerish. Don't worry, he won't mind. In fact, judging by his expression, it seemed to clear some things up for the poor befuddled fellow. Or at least cheer him up.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Jun 27, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Angelina Jolie carried it, even though she stayed evil for all of five minutes and the plot is as if a young unwed mother with an abusive ex boyfriend wrote a fairy tale. Teens fall in love, boy stabs girl in the back, or rather almost does, then changes his mind and just destroys the girl's ability to fly (someone cut off my wings, muahaha that's why I'm evil!) and soon, with the help of grandmotherly fairies, girl is raising boy's child while boy frolics in the palace and plots even more ways to destroy girl's life. But hark, girl realizes it's okay because the kid is just too cute for words. At least Maleficent wasn't condemned to a lifetime of working at McDonald's and living on food-stamps. So happily ever after in fairy land even if the kid's father does end up splattered all over the cobblestones.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.2Jun 12, 2014The trailer was snappy and hilarious. Sadly the movie was not, except for a few rare moments. Gets a 4 from me for those moments and for theThe trailer was snappy and hilarious. Sadly the movie was not, except for a few rare moments. Gets a 4 from me for those moments and for the talented cast.… Expand