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1/10
Pure Propaganda
18 August 2018
I am a PhD student who is doing my dissertation on the trauma that Israelis and Palestinians face from each other. In all of my research, I have never seen such one-sided garbage as this film. Omeish and Omeish place the entire blame of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on the Jews alone, and even argue that there was no enmity between Jews and Arabs before this conflict, which is a narrative that contradicts centuries of scholarly research. Many of the interviews with people like Noam Chomsky and Christian humanitarian workers are crudely chopped, making me wonder what else they said that perhaps didn't fit their narrative. They do this while trying to pull every emotional string they can tug on, even invoking the notion that Israeli Jews are intentionally persecuting Christians, knowing that this is the likely demographic of Americans who will be watching this video. My hope is that anyone who watches this documentary already has a baseline understanding of the roles that Israelis and Palestinians have both played in this conflict, because this documentary is nothing more than agenda-laden propaganda.
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7/10
Biased, but still worthwhile
18 August 2018
The purpose of this movie was to call out the American media for its manipulation of the narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, but I came away feeling that the greater indictment was the American media's manipulation of news in general. The stark contrast between European and American news reporting was quite upsetting and embarrassing to me as an American. Overall, I felt the documentary was an eye-opening and mostly fair representation of the issues at play, but there were some disappointing biases that manifested. For instance, I don't recall any real representation of the Jewish narrative, and in fact, the Jewish narrative was referred to as "mythology" by one interviewee. Also, I felt that there was far too much leniency granted to Hamas and its promulgation of terror attacks. Maybe I'm only saying this because I'm a brainwashed American, but just because Hamas has since denounced their original charter that called for the extermination of Jews, doesn't mean that they should be getting a pass for it. That wasn't something that happened hundreds of years ago. It was 30. Those same people are running the show.
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6/10
Masterfully Sadistic
22 February 2007
As a human being, I am fascinated by death and pain. So are you. You have contemplated watching "Faces of Death" before, and most likely you have had a sick and disgusting desire to watch a human being die, and it's even possible that you have logged on to YouTube to watch a video that shows someone dying. Similarly, the funniest videos you have ever seen on "America's Funniest Home Videos" are those in which a human being is hurt.

As such, it is by our human nature that we are fascinated by this fictional thriller about the assassination of President George W. Bush. Human beings are inherently sadistic. Whereas I would love to tell you that this film's premise is simply appalling, and the film itself is ineptly lacking, the truth of the matter is that this film's premise is simply appalling, but the film itself is masterfully accomplished.

I find the basis of this film to be grotesque, atrocious, and inexcusable. Yet I also found myself in the seat of a theater showing it when it was released.

I am greatly shamed to admit that, though the foundation of this plot is gross, this movie is more-than-adequate in every other sense. Not only will this movie force you to challenge your beliefs on ethics, it will challenge your opinions about what may be best for our country at hand.

I, in no way, support or endorse this film... but I won't encourage you to avoid seeing it.
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Hostage (2005)
10/10
Movie holds my interest hostage
1 April 2005
Probably the only movie I have ever seen twice in theaters within a 24-hour time period, this movie was off the chain. This may be the only movie (besides The Passion of the Christ) that I felt more stressed coming out of the movie than going in. A former L.A. police officer (7-year S.W.A.T., 10-year hostage negotiator) named Jeff Talley decides to go to a small-time police department so he can finally settle down and live a less stressful life, until, one day, in Jeff's small town, a rich family is taken hostage. Like "riding a bike," Chief Talley picks up his negotiating skills and tries to help the situation. But, then the hostage situation "hits home" for Chief Talley when his own family is forcefully brought into the situation. It doesn't matter if you are a brainless zombie that loves action or a movie-analyzer geek, this movie is for you! There are a few pretty gory scenes, so be prepared for that. I would highly recommend seeing this in the theaters, and then buy the DVD and check out all the special features when it comes out. And, as if the plot couldn't be any juicier, the cast is a bunch of no-namers (save for Bruce Willis), and yet, the acting was stellar. There was only one person who I thought had bad acting throughout the whole film, and that was a minor role (Jane Talley played by Serena Scott Thomas). And thus, I had a VERY difficult job in figuring out who deserved "best acting" for this movie. On a personal note, I have had a tough time deciding what I want to do with my life while trying to get a big acting break (in other words, deciding what my "backup" is). I have narrowed it down to two jobs I may want after I am done with my enlistment contract: either firefighting or cop-hood (both in Chicago). Two words came out of my mouth as I walked away from this excellent movie the first time I saw it: "Screw firefighting."
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9/10
The Legend of 1998
4 March 2005
What an excellent movie! I usually am partial to stupid comedies like Zoolander and other "non-greats" like like Daredevil and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but even I loved this movie! It's a must-see for everyone.

My sister wanted to me watch this with her because she had to for a school assignment, and since I know a lot about things she doesn't (i.e., cinematography, costumes, makeup, etc.) she wanted to know my opinion. And, although those other subtle effects were excellent, I couldn't help but notice that this movie, too, was one of the best. I was angry that I had never even heard of it before, let alone not have been nominated for "Best Picture" in the 1999 Academy Awards!
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