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Jacques COULARDEAU "A soul doctor, so to say" (OLLIERGUES France)
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Highlander (Widescreen)
Highlander (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Christopher Lambert
Offered by WAM Services
Price: CDN$ 33.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Mythical and fascinating sward magic, Dec 11 2003
This review is from: Highlander (Widescreen) (DVD)
This film is fascinating in many ways. I have the European version with the flashback to the second world war but without the killing of Yung Dol Kim by the Kurgan, which explains the discrepancy in one scene where a paper title announces : HEAD HUNTER 3 POLICE 0. In fact there has only been two killings by the Kurgan at this moment, and will never be three in the film anyway. But it is a marvellous film built on constant flashbacks, very well done all of them, and this navigation through time is thrilling. Then it presents us with a plot that is of interest for our over-famous post-modern world. A new species of humans is born by some mutation. These humans are immortal but they are supposed to fight to the last and to their death for only one of them to survive. This last one is granted special powers over the world. This is a new version, a post-god version of God, as if our imagination and brain could not survive and work properly without a supreme being of some kind. We are here dealing with an essential dimension of human civilization : men need a supreme principle, on a higher level than themselves, to be able to manage the world, manage its knowledge and science, manage its peace and violence. But this archetypical approach goes even farther and reaches a mythical level. We are dealing with a species that pushes its roots deep in the oldest human civilizations : the Celts in Scotland, the « archaic » societies in Siberia or Russia, old Japanese societies, etc. This new species is founded on two elements : they have to fight in duels with broad swords and they can only die if they are decapitated. The first element is typical of the iron age, of the iron society best represented in our history by the Celts, with some roots in the ancient Greek mythology with their Gods of fire and metalwork (smithing), but also with the Greek Zeus and the Celtic Lud, and even the Biblical and Semitic God, who have the power to dominate and use thunder and lightning to punish and frighten men. This touches something in the average public that goes beyond simple action. It moves some old stories, and even superstitions, in our memory, in the memory of humanity. This is one of the deepest layers of our human and universal consciousness or unconsciousness. This then makes a gripping film for which the added suspense and spectacular action can only become mesmerizing. This explains the cult around this Highlander.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

War of the Worlds, the
War of the Worlds, the
VHS
8 used & new from CDN$ 14.85

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, Dec 11 2003
This review is from: War of the Worlds, the (VHS Tape)
This film is a very naive and sloppy adaptation of the novel by H.G. Wells. Martians are attacking the world and all our defenses are useless. The earth is going to be conquered after the total destruction of humanity. But a miracle happens : these Martians are not immune to or protected against the bacteriae that have been our plague for centuries, to which our bodies have adapted their natural defenses, and which have been conquered by modern medicine. Fear of the outside world. Fear of extraterrestrials. Fear of outsiders and foreigners and even strangers. Practically no attempt at communicating with them, and anyway the rare attempts are defeated by the absolute aggressivity of these invaders. Primitive reaction and attitude. And by far too many discrepancies to make us suspend our disbelief with any kind of effectiveness.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
VHS
5 used & new from CDN$ 14.79

5.0 out of 5 stars War is regressive, Dec 7 2003
This review is from: Apocalypse Now (VHS Tape)
Strangely enough this film is not about the Vietnam War itself, in spite of what it may seem, in spite of the decor. It is about man confronted to war. On one side you have Captain Willard (willing to do what he is ordered to do) of the special forces in Vietnam. He only lives through the actions and missions he gets involved in. When out of action he plainly gets crazy. When in action he is as cool as a cat and then no obstacle can stop him : he is ready to do anything, including killing innocent people, to reach his target, to fulfill his mission. Even his life does not count anymore except that it is necessary to retain it to reach the goal, which makes him prudent. This man becomes a simple thinking machine that does not consider any element that may stand across his road, except as an obstacle to be removed. He uses his intellect to solve his problem, but ethics are beyond him and he even agrees with Colonel Kurtz and yet he fulfills his mission and terminates him. In other words this man is so faithful to the mission he has received that his ethics are suspended, his intellectual positions are pushed aside. Ethics and agreement or disagreement have been entirely delegated to and deposited in his higher-ups. He works on a delegation of perspective. But the real lesson about human nature in war comes with Colonel Kurtz. He did not delegate his ethics or his intellectual powers. He is a pragmatist and he looked at a situation, analyzed it, came to conclusions and implemented the measures that these conclusions entailed without any consideration of wrong or right, good or evil. His only law was to be effective in the war he was in. All means are then made acceptable, even if not palatable, by the concrete effectiveness of them. It is a regression, caused by war of course. War pulls people down and brings them back to some ancient view that says survival and the destruction of enemies are the only goals to be taken into account, once the enemies have been clearly determined. Man in such a situation does not question the goal, the means or the results. He can only make sure the results go the way imposed by the goal. So he comes to the idea that to win a war is to utterly destroy the enemy : drop the Bomb and kill them all. Death then becomes a decor in wartime and to kill becomes a daily tool in this situation. A warrior in such a war becomes a poet of death : he has to invent new ways of killing, as cruel as possible in order to create fear, the only way to impress the enemy and bring them down, though the only road to victory is to annihilate that enemy. The only thing that this Colonel Kurtz, his shortness in a way that his name implies, is that what will come out of such a method is not peace, is not an integratable country, but a pocket of unmanagable dictatorship based on the law of blood, of shedding blood, of feeding blood to the minds of the victors and to the land of the territory. And this regression will not know any end. It will have to go on forever. On the other side, the other method is not better because in such a war, a war of liberation (and both sides are using the word), it is the side that will be crueller that will win. Hence the Americans are defeated both ways : either creating a no man's land of cruelty or being defeated by a higher level of cruelty. That is what a war of that type, what any war produces in any circumstances and conditions. Human nature is a fragile fabric that can be brought back to ancient barbaric stages easily because humanity retains, collectively and individually, all the phases of its history in its present development, ethics, behaviors and actions. It takes nearly nothing to bring back the barbarian to the surface and the only way to retain some sanity is to delegate ethical questions to a higher level and to implement orders without even questioning them. To be a soldier is to be a slave, and like all slaves, soldiers who have initiative will be put to death because they go against the will of their masters. As Jim Morrison sings at the beginning : « All the children are insane ».
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
97 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A new world is never far from the old one, and yet..., Dec 6 2003
This book really is an epic, but an epic of what ? Maybe an epic of human feelings, an epic of humanity, an epic of the building of a new world by mostly uprooted people from another old and unidentified world, most of the time. The heroes are people who fled from their families, who did not have any family, who do not have clearly cut and declared parents, who fled from a country that they did not like anymore, who fled from the cities of the east or the fledgeling cities of the west, who fled from saloons and card playing, who fled from women, who fled from sheriffs, who fled from the law and law-abiding customs. A new world is born from these materials. But the book is also a lot deeper at another level. It shows how Texas rangers established some peace where they operated. It shows how sheriffs establish some peace where they operate. But it shows that this new world, mostly lawless, is a paradise for all those who want to make a living out of adventure, be they law-abiding and they become the cowboys who can discover new lands and build new life stolen from nature, and also mostly from Indians or Mexicans, or be they outlaws, Indians or whites alike, who only find their pleasure in stealing, killing, trafficking, raping, torturing, hurting, shooting, etc. And yet it is from the constant confrontation of these two kinds of people that a new world can be born. What kind of a new world ? Read the book to have an answer. The book is an epic in the shape of a long journey from south to north with several thousand cattle and several dozen horses. A journey that renders possible any kind of encounters and agressions, of any kind of discoveries of unkown places. But this long journey is punctuated with deaths, killings, assaults and self-defense, solitude in the plains and agoraphobia in the cities, drinking, gambling and whoring around in this nascent world, as old in many of its procedures and processes as any old world on earth. And yet the whole journey is crowned off by the return journey of the leader of the first trip back to the starting point to find out that several problems they had had to deal with have been solved, but also that several people they had left behind had turned sour and maybe just crazy, because leaving is maybe easy for those who leave but it is a lot harder for those who stay behind. Emotions in any one of all the chapters, fear, love, sadness, nostalgia, homesickness, regret, repentance even, when confronted with what they leave behind, what they have not chosen to do, what they encounter that casts death all around, and yet joy, pleasure, exhilaration, enthusiasm even at the novelty of what they discover. Picaresque is the word that best suits this novel, and it is so good that you cannot even rush through it. It is a slow reader and this slowness multiplies the pleasure of it.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Destination Anywhere
Destination Anywhere
Price: CDN$ 14.26
37 used & new from CDN$ 1.05

5.0 out of 5 stars West of nowhere, in no urban country, in no countrylike city, Dec 1 2003
This review is from: Destination Anywhere (Audio CD)
Jon Bon Jovi has a fascinating voice, the fascinating voice of an abyss that attracts you without any remission. It is New York City life. It is the life of any big city. Life comes from no one knows where in places that look like nothing really human, even if they are called maternities, like an asepticized no man's land between anywhere and nowhere, a somewhere that has no depth, no dimension, no density, except that or those of an abysmal chasm in which one falls without knowing when it started and when it will end, without knowing where it will lead since it comes from nowhere. And that voice of Jon Bon Jovi's rocks us gently in our feeling of loss and of abandoned escape that has no destination and no departure. Life is just a vast movement among things and decors more or less peopled with ghosts and strangers whom we cannot feel, to whom we cannot speak and from whom we can get no signifying message. Life is a driverless taxicab that recklessly runs among vehicles and people hitting some now and some more then and running always faster and still without any sense of direction. Our life in a city is like a tot tossed in a trashcan, a promise that may very well never see the sun again after the lid has fallen over its eyes. Can love be saved in this jungle ? Can love save us from this melting asphalt ? Can love redeem the asphalt jungle in which we are trapped ? And is there any escape, even with and in love, that can repave the dirt road in which we are grounded and stuck ? This long clip, this short film does not seem to leave any hope for any soul surviving in this blind alley of city life. And maybe it's better like that. We can always dream a miracle. It has more chances to happen than the city has to salvage itself into human density.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Destination Anywhere: The Film [Import]
Destination Anywhere: The Film [Import]
VHS
6 used & new from CDN$ 18.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A city is nowhere to live, nowhere to stay, nowhere to go, Dec 1 2003
Jon Bon Jovi has a fascinating voice, the fascinating voice of an abyss that attracts you without any remission. It is New York City life. It is the life of any big city. Life comes from no one knows where in places that look like nothing really human, even if they are called maternities, like an asepticized no man's land between anywhere and nowhere, a somewhere that has no depth, no dimension, no density, except that or those of an abysmal chasm in which one falls without knowing when it started and when it will end, without knowing where it will lead since it comes from nowhere. And that voice of Jon Bon Jovi's rocks us gently in our feeling of loss and of abandoned escape that has no destination and no departure. Life is just a vast movement among things and decors more or less peopled with ghosts and strangers whom we cannot feel, to whom we cannot speak and from whom we can get no signifying message. Life is a driverless taxicab that recklessly runs among vehicles and people hitting some now and some more then and running always faster and still without any sense of direction. Our life in a city is like a tot tossed in a trashcan, a promise that may very well never see the sun again after the lid has fallen over its eyes. Can love be saved in this jungle ? Can love save us from this melting asphalt ? Can love redeem the asphalt jungle in which we are trapped ? And is there any escape, even with and in love, that can repave the dirt road in which we are grounded and stuck ? This long clip, this short film does not seem to leave any hope for any soul surviving in this blind alley of city life. And maybe it's better like that. We can always dream a miracle. It has more chances to happen than the city has to salvage itself into human density.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Nixon
Nixon
VHS
5 used & new from CDN$ 14.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Is there any psychotic answer to a changing world?, Nov. 24 2003
This review is from: Nixon (VHS Tape)
1968 was a devilish year in the world. Everything everywhere was exploding into chaos. Nixon got elected because of that chaos that led Johnson to step down and because of Vietnam that had sunk into a quagmire and an unavoidable defeat. All that was the sign of a changing world, a world that was changing faster than anyone could foresee and follow. Changing in the West and changing in the East. The East froze down for twenty more years : no change possible. Defeat in the end. The West had started moving with Kennedy, but in the US private and shadowy interests led to the assassinations of John Kennedy himself, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and in the world the same interests pushed the US ever deeper into the war in Vietnam. Nixon was elected on some kind of quiproquo. He answered that great call for change with old recipes : politics and no ideal, just plain maneuvering. He tried to save the face in Vietnam by forcing the Vietnamese to the negociation table by crushing them and Cambodia and Laos under millions of tons of bombs, by negociating with Mao and recognizing continental China, even though it was communist, and by negociating with Breshnev to buy some kind of peace. Vietnam came to an end after hard negociations that could not in any way guarantee self-determination to the South. There was peace at last, but honor was just a temporary illusion, a political disguise, because everyone knew what was to happen and what did happen. He was never loved by anyone because he refused to compromise with anyone, he imposed his vision and his decisions, even to Kissinger, though Kissinger outmaneuvered him in the long run. Mao was more visionary than Nixon because Mao probably knew what he was doing : opening China on the world and putting China on the road towards becoming a superpower, the superpower it is today in the process of becoming. Breshnev was just saving time for his USSR by cutting his military budget and satisfying some of his people by bringing some measure of peace. But this time-saving policy was doomed anyway. In the US, Nixon's policy was also doomed and Nixon was condemned from the very start : he did not take a democratic road, he did not provide the US with a government from the people, by the people, for the people : he imposed his governement mostly characterised by the abuse of his powers and by the misuse of his office. The big change was still to come when he finally resigned. But has that change come ? I will not answer the question : everyone may have his own opinion. The film though questions the personal level of Nixon's career. He failed in his presidency because he was not loved, so does Oliver Stone say. Maybe he was not loved because he was a bully with everyone, a leader as his mother said later, a man and even a boy who imposed his will, his decisions, his power, his leadership. But why was he like that ? He imitated his father as the film hints. Maybe. Or was he psychotic from the very start and developing some severe case of paranoia ? Maybe. The film leads to these ideas that I do not want to call conclusions. Hypotheses at the best. Nixon was/is a mystery and will remain a mystery, maybe forever.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

The Kansan
The Kansan

3.0 out of 5 stars A film for a Saturday matinee for kids, Nov. 10 2003
This review is from: The Kansan (VHS Tape)
It is not a B-series film, but rather a C-series film, or even something somewhat more advanced in the alphabet. But you will get the crooks and the good marshall, the rotten apple in the community, in this case the banker, and we know that from the very beginning, the calvacades and other chases in the « wild » landscape with many horses and quite a few casual or planned casualties, a love affair and even a sacrifice for a woman, a lot of drinking and some card-playing, and all other typical western elements. But do not ask for subtlety in this film : even the timeline is not very correct and some shortcuts are longer, quite longer, than the longcuts, but, well, we can do with that. It is funny.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Great Racing Movies
Great Racing Movies
VHS

4.0 out of 5 stars Car racing is not good for actors, Nov. 8 2003
This review is from: Great Racing Movies (VHS Tape)
THE BIG WHEEL
Mickey Rooney has been underused a lot of times in his career. And this film is one of these times. He was short and that was a shortcoming (the right word in this case). So his roles were often innocuous ones in rather insignificant films. He has a face, if not a mug, and it is expressive to the utmost. He even has eyes that are as mobile as two wild birds in a stormy sky. His body, and I mean all his body, every single spot of it, is able to take any stand, stance and position that is meaningful and gives some flesh to his character and to the action. And it never looks overdone. His voice is also interesting though it is hardly worked upon enough. And here he is reduced to a pun. He is small so the wheel is big, the game is big, but he is the game (both meanings) of the director. And he is in the car racing business so the wheel is generally one of a set of four and it is also the big race track of Indianapolis and its 500. The film is essentially the story of a young car driver who climbs to the top, i.e. Indianapolis 500. The rest is wrapping up to give some sense to the film and some feeling to the situation and the action. A father who killed himself in Indianapolis. A mother who is scared out of her mind by the race. A mechanic who was the friend of the dead father, is in love with the mother and finally marries her. The daughter of the sugardaddy of the team looks like a boy and plays mechanic, and of course she falls in love with the poor Bill, Mickey Rooney. And that's about all. Unlucky us who do not get what we deserve : a film with a plot and some thickness. It sickens more than it thickens most of the time.
That's just the problem. With car racing films: actors have to be midgets as compared to the big wheels of the car. I am convinced it could be different, but we would have less track scenes.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

Big Wheel, the
Big Wheel, the
VHS

3.0 out of 5 stars Unused or underused Mickey Rooney, Nov. 8 2003
This review is from: Big Wheel, the (VHS Tape)
Mickey Rooney has been underused a lot of times in his career. And this film is one of these times. He was short and that was a shortcoming (the right word in this case). So his roles were often innocuous ones in rather insignificant films. He has a face, if not a mug, and it is expressive to the utmost. He even has eyes that are as mobile as two wild birds in a stormy sky. His body, and I mean all his body, every single spot of it, is able to take any stand, stance and position that is meaningful and gives some flesh to his character and to the action. And it never looks overdone. His voice is also interesting though it is hardly worked upon enough. And here he is reduced to a pun. He is small so the wheel is big, the game is big, but he is the game (both meanings) of the director. And he is in the car racing business so the wheel is generally one of a set of four and it is also the big race track of Indianapolis and its 500. The film is essentially the story of a young car driver who climbs to the top, i.e. Indianapolis 500. The rest is wrapping up to give some sense to the film and some feeling to the situation and the action. A father who killed himself in Indianapolis. A mother who is scared out of her mind by the race. A mechanic who was the friend of the dead father, is in love with the mother and finally marries her. The daughter of the sugardaddy of the team looks like a boy and plays mechanic, and of course she falls in love with the poor Bill, Mickey Rooney. And that's about all. Unlucky us who do not get what we deserve : a film with a plot and some thickness. It sickens more than it thickens most of the time.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

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