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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why couldn’t the powers that be not leave true art alone? I am talking about the “New” revived “Yes Prime Minister” series recreated in 2013. Et tu BBC?

We here at JPFmovies have reviewed and lauded the original BBS series Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister for years.  The original series ran between 1980 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes.  Now the “revived” Jim Hacker as the PM in a new revival that does nothing less than make one cringe with every word spoken.  The fools decided mess with what ranked as the 6th greatest British sitcom of all time deserve nothing less than exile.

I would expect this kind of crap from America, but I hope that the British had more class than Holly Wood.  I guess that you can’t win them all.

The acting stinks, is stilted and, for example, they apparently believe that the audience needs to be told the Bernard Wooly is pedantic instead of letting the viewer figure it out for themselves which takes all of two seconds.

Moreover, the famous long and murky speeches made by Sir Humphry and cheap copies of the originals performed by an actor cast by lottery instead of auditions.  It breaks my heart to see such a fabled tale of political satire thrown into the dung heap.  Why?

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Movie Reviews

 

Emperor 2012, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox who really steals the show from the much senior actor Jones.

I hate to admit it, but I actually enjoyed this movie immensely.  It could be that I’m a fan of US history or that I thought Fox did such a great job playing Gen. Fellers that I overlooked any deficiencies in the film.

“Emperor” deals with a crucial chapter in postwar history, in which the future direction of Japan was being decided by MacArthur and a handful of advisers.  The general appoints the brigadier, Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox, of “Lost”) to investigate Emperor Hirohito for war crimes.  The American public is clamoring for the emperor’s head, but executing him could set back the occupation and open the door to the Soviets.

Fox, who’s the real star of the movie, plays Fellers as the sweetest, gentlest guy in the world in his private life.  But in his professional life, he has the officer thing down: He’s abrupt, forceful and unyielding, as if unwilling himself to show even a hint of softness or doubt.  It’s a smart, thought-through performance.

Fellers and his staff begin to compile a list of people who were with Emperor Hirohito when the war started. Because none of the Japanese who are friendly to the Americans are among them, they resort to asking Tojo by enticing him to give them information in order to save the Emperor.  Fellers travels to Sugano Prison and demands that Tojo gives him three names.  He, instead, gives one: Fumimaro Konoe, the former prime minister.  Fellers decides to visit General Kajima.  He explains to Kajima that the Japanese people are selfless and capable of great sacrifice as well as unspeakable crimes because of their devotion to a set of values.  Kajima does not know whether or not the Emperor is guilty in starting the war but notes his role in ending the war.  He gives Fellers a box of folded letters written by Aya (the Japanese woman Fellers had fallen in love with prior to the war) to Fellers and Fellers learns that Aya had died in one of the Allied bombing raids.

MacArthur orders Fellers to arrange a meeting between him and the Emperor himself.  Before the Emperor arrives, Fellers informs MacArthur of his role in diverting Allied bombers away from Shizuoka (he had hoped to save Aya).  MacArthur replies that because no American lives were lost because of it, he will turn a blind eye.  When Emperor Hirohito arrives, he offers himself to be punished rather than Japan.  MacArthur states that he has no intention of punishing Japan or Hirohito and rather wishes to discuss the reconstruction of Japan.

The film proves to be extremely interesting thanks to the fact it turns both America and Japan into villains from the get go making them both culpable for the atrocities they have committed.  By setting the film in war torn Japan, the film shows how much Japan is suffering because of the war, and the state of a once prosperous happy country that is one execution away from total collapse.

Perhaps my penchant for Asian films tilted me in the direction of liking this movie, but it at least provided some insight into what kind of monumental task the Allies were taking on in rebuilding Japan which you can see at the beginning of the film is nothing more than rubble.  Maybe I enjoyed it because the film is a story not just about the past but about the future as it shows two countries in flux, Japan awaiting news of their fate and America trying to justify their actions having just committed one of the worst war crimes in history.  Trying to find some kind of redemption even though they have made an indelible mark on a country it had already ravaged.

JPFmovies advice: watch it.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Movie Reviews

 

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