Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Control Room (2003) NR - 3½ Stars

The Vietnam war gave the public a glimpse behind the scenes of the ugliness of war. With Kuwait and Iraq wars, society was media-managed as to what we were to see and not to see. There's only so much reliable information on the Internet, which is mostly biased, to form an objective opinion. Watching this film shows how easily American propaganda takes over in our media as opposed to how media allows the people of the middle east to complete reality.

I  watched this movie back in 2007 while the war in Iraq was still active on the ground. The images shown to us were exactly as our government and media wanted us to see. Direct hits on bad guys, front line pushing forward while sheltered from any reality of bombs hitting civilian targets. For me, watching documentaries that show all points of view allow me to form my own opinion of what I believe the truth to be.

We are invited into the headquarters of Al-Jazeera television to see how the news of the Iraq war is reported in the Arab nations. American television avoids the death and destruction where Al-Jazeera focuses on it and they make good arguments on it's benefits. For anyone who wants to see the Iraq war from all sides, search my site under war for the movies I've reviewed.

2004 - Control Room - Boston Society of Film Critics - Best Documentary.

Magnolia Pictures
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Producers: Rosadel Varela, Abdullah
I viewed 11/07

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Puncture (2011) R - 3½ Stars

As I began to watch this film I immediately formed a bad opinion of what I thought was to come. With lots of drugs, not great acting and a confusing mix of the characters, it looked like we were going no where at all and I lost interest. However, after watching for a while, I found myself more engaged and it became pretty interesting. Even the acting improved.

Based on a true story, there was no surprise to learn big players in the health industry are more interested in making money than treating the sick or prevention of disease. I had to list this is my political category because it really is all about the politics of major corporations, and in this case the health industry with the tightly knit circle that surrounds them.  Free trade is definitely kept out of this circle. At the end, I feel the writers intentionally leave you with a doubt as to what happened to attorney Weiss as if they seem convinced of foul play. You just might be convinced too.

Nurse Vicky Rogers (Vinessa Shaw), has an violent emergency patient which she must administer a shot to calm him down. But, in his restless stage, the needle punctures her skin and she becomes infected with AIDS. As she becomes sick, and her insurance is about to be canceled, she seeks the help of attorneys Mike Weiss (Chris Evans), and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen). She shows them a retractable new safety needle invented by engineer Jeffrey Matthew Dancort (Marshall Bell). Dancort own a company called Safety Point where he has patented and produced this new idea that could potentially save many lives. The problem is, he's unable to sell the product to the any other hospitals besides San Antonio Memorial. This one hospital, San Antonio Memorial, will try his product but it appears the United Medical group stands between Dancort trying to sell his product as they will not allow his product on the market. Mike and Paul soon learn fighting with these big boys, headed by attorney Nathaniel Price (Brett Cullen), and their ruthless techniques, immediately shoot down any attempt they can possibly try.

Cherry Sky Films, Kassen Brothers Production, LikeMinded Pictures, Millennium Entertainment
Directors: Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen
Writers: Chris Lopata, Ela Thier, Paul Danziger
Producers: Craig Cohen, Paul Danziger, Rod De Llano,
I viewed 8/12