Profile for Michael W. Perry > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Michael W. Perry
Top Reviewer Ranking: 11,397
Helpful Votes: 868

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Michael W. Perry (Auburn, AL)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-13
pixel
Diameter of the Bomb [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Diameter of the Bomb [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Steven Silver
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £7.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Giving Israel a powerful voice., 7 Mar 2009
When I lived in Israel during 1979, bombs on buses were already a problem. Terrorists would board a bus and exit a few stops later, leaving behind a bomb disguised as a package. Alert passengers, and I was one of them, were constantly on the look out for unattended packages. I joked back then that those bombs were one reason I took Arab buses every opportunity I could. Arab buses were also much more colorful.

More recently, the bombs have gotten smarter, perhaps because the terrorists have gotten stupider. The terrorist has become the bomb. This is a documentary about one particular blast, that on Egged Bus 32A in Jerusalem on June 18, 2002. It killed 19 people, mostly those traveling to school or work. Hamas took 'responsibility' for the bombing, an odd term for a vile mass killing that included Galila Bugala, an 11-year-old Ethiopian Christian girl whose parents were about to move to New York. Nor is her killer an example of someone whose anger was 'rooted' in deprivation. He was Muhamed al-Rai, an Islamic law student at An-Najah University near Nablus in the West Bank.

This documentary is built around multiple streams of consciousness. It follows those who would die in the blast, often through the eyes of their friends and family. That's no doubt emotionally satisfying, particularly if you're an Israeli Jew, but to a historian like myself, it's frustratingly unfocused. After watching, I was left feeling that I knew no more about the event than before I watched it.

Since this documentary is not the only illustration of Israel's inability to make a coherent case for what I think is its very defensible point of view in the Middle-Eastern conflict, I've begun to suspect language is shaping the arguments. Like Arabic, Hebrew likes to place ideas in parallel, 'this and that and that'' Parallelism makes complex relationships, both cause and effect and subordination, hard to express. The results, even when stated in English, are assertions that seem unsupported by facts or logic. The language is also new in one sense. Modern Hebrew, which I studied while I was there, has been spoken for only a little over a century. In its modern form, has yet to come to a flowering like that English experienced during Elizabethan times. It has yet to develop a powerful voice.

The result is that Hebrew (again like Arabic) is an excellent language for expressing emotions, but not one that prepares you for winning public debates on the world stage. Up until the 1967 war, that mattered little. Israel's emotional arguments fit with a widespread feeling outside the nation that the Jews were victims and deserved those feelings. Now that the sympathies of those who don't care enough to find out what's really going on have turned toward the Palestinians, Jewish emotional arguments are being trumped by those by Palestinians.

There is one thing that Israel''s Jews could do. They could read their prophets more, particularly in their schools. Isaiah, one of the greatest poets who ever lived, knew how to use Hebrew's parallelism to powerful effect. Look, for instance, at the Messianic passage in Isaiah 53:

Who has believe our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He had no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to him.

Until Israel''s leaders can begin to speak that powerfully, the nation''s message will go unheard and terrorism like this will continue to kill and maim.

-Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements That Led to Nazism and World War II


Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas, 2005) (REGION 1) (NTSC)
Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas, 2005) (REGION 1) (NTSC)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Look Back, 7 Mar 2009
This film is a moving dramatization of the spontaneous Christmas truce of 1914, during which soldiers on both sides met in no-man's land, sang hymns, played sports, and exchanged gifts. Needless to say, the generals, warm and well-fed in their far-from-the-front chateaux, were not happy about that and did their best to see it didn't repeat the following three Christmases of the war.

The film is well-done and almost even-handed in its presentation of soldiers from France, Germany and Scotland, except that the French soldiers, for some reason, seem less interesting than the Scottish and German. That's odd, since this 2005 film was apparently a French or Belgian production.

The film's other oddity is that the Scottish officer who participates in and is punished for his role the unofficial cease fire is apparently a Catholic priest (note his use of Latin), as it appears were most of his men. The Scots of that day were mostly Scotch Presbyterian, so I can''t explain that little anomaly. Maybe the French/Belgian producers didn''t know that. The European intelligentsia of today know very little about religion, hence their instinctive pandering to militant Islam. Religion scares them, so a scary religion seems normal.

Sadly, the Great War in which these men fought has become the Forgotten War. That's unfortunately, because all too many of our modern ills are rooted in that long-ago struggle over mere yards of blasted landscape. The years before the Great War represented the high-water mark in European influence on the world. Europe has never fully recovered from its enormous loses.

-Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements That Led to Nazism and World War II


Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Diane Kruger
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £167.97

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Look Back, 7 Mar 2009
This film is a moving dramatization of the spontaneous Christmas truce of 1914, during which soldiers on both sides met in no-man's land, sang hymns, played sports, and exchanged gifts. Needless to say, the generals, warm and well-fed in their far-from-the-front chateaux, were not happy about that and did their best to see it didn't repeat the following three Christmases of the war.

The film is well-done and almost even-handed in its presentation of soldiers from France, Germany and Scotland, except that the French soldiers, for some reason, seem less interesting than the Scottish and German. That's odd, since this 2005 film was apparently a French or Belgian production.

The film's other oddity is that the Scottish officer who participates in and is punished for his role the unofficial cease fire is apparently a Catholic priest (note his use of Latin), as it appears were most of his men. The Scots of that day were mostly Scotch Presbyterian, so I can''t explain that little anomaly. Maybe the French/Belgian producers didn''t know that. The European intelligentsia of today know very little about religion, hence their instinctive pandering to militant Islam. Religion scares them, so a scary religion seems normal.

Sadly, the Great War in which these men fought has become the Forgotten War. That's unfortunately, because all too many of our modern ills are rooted in that long-ago struggle over mere yards of blasted landscape. The years before the Great War represented the high-water mark in European influence on the world. Europe has never fully recovered from its enormous loses.

-Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements That Led to Nazism and World War II


Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2006]
Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Diane Kruger
Price: £5.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Look Back, 7 Mar 2009
This review is from: Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This film is a moving dramatization of the spontaneous Christmas truce of 1914, during which soldiers on both sides met in no-man's land, sang hymns, played sports, and exchanged gifts. Needless to say, the generals, warm and well-fed in their far-from-the-front chateaux, were not happy about that and did their best to see it didn't repeat the following three Christmases of the war.

The film is well-done and almost even-handed in its presentation of soldiers from France, Germany and Scotland, except that the French soldiers, for some reason, seem less interesting than the Scottish and German. That's odd, since this 2005 film was apparently a French or Belgian production.

The film's other oddity is that the Scottish officer who participates in and is punished for his role the unofficial cease fire is apparently a Catholic priest (note his use of Latin), as it appears were most of his men. The Scots of that day were mostly Scotch Presbyterian, so I can''t explain that little anomaly. Maybe the French/Belgian producers didn''t know that. The European intelligentsia of today know very little about religion, hence their instinctive pandering to militant Islam. Religion scares them, so a scary religion seems normal.

Sadly, the Great War in which these men fought has become the Forgotten War. That's unfortunately, because all too many of our modern ills are rooted in that long-ago struggle over mere yards of blasted landscape. The years before the Great War represented the high-water mark in European influence on the world. Europe has never fully recovered from its enormous loses.

-Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements That Led to Nazism and World War II


Holiday [1938] (REGION 1) (NTSC)
Holiday [1938] (REGION 1) (NTSC)

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvelously relevant for today, 7 Mar 2009
This is a marvelous film with two of Hollywood's greatest, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. It''s also a classic, Depression-era film in its focus on dysfunctional lives of the very rich, with much of it shot in a NYC home whose immensity is astonishing. Grant, as Johnny Case, demonstrates that, having made a small fortune on the stock market, he has no need for more. He wants to travel and enjoy life. For those caught up in the grind of typical Depression-era jobs, this 1938 film provided a marvelous escape.

There are parallels to today. Given the high taxes the New Deal placed on financial success, Case's urge to wander rather than labor for the IRS made a lot of sense. Those he disagreed with are portrayed as greedy. They might have been better portrayed as stupid. Instead, the film portrays them as hating the New Deal, but unwilling to abandon their pursuit of wealth.

Recent research at UCLA says that FDR's policies, hostile as they were to innovation and success, added seven years to the Depression. His current heir in the White House seems intent on following a similar path, one that could turn a recession plus credit crunch into a full-fledged depression and serve as an excuse to engage in an FDR-like expansion in the scope of government. Those who'd like to explore this topic in more detail can''t do better than Amity Shlaes marvelous bestseller, now out in an inexpensive paperback:

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

The 'forgotten man' of the title is the working man who gets shafted when a politician agrees to provide money to someone in exchange for their vote, 'people for instance, who borrowed more than they could afford for a home. And many of today''s forgotten men, those who''ve been careful not to buy too much home for their income, are thinking of adopting Cary' Grant''s solution, paying less in taxes by earning less and enjoying the time they save. And without their hard work and innovation, the US economy could go downhill quite fast. It''s what we get when we elect a president who, like FDR, has never held a real job and who thinks words are realities.

And if you want to see what that looks like in practice, visit Western Europe where Cary Grant's "take a long vacation" solution to high taxes and stifling government has become the cultural ethos of the majority. The result is high unemployment and economies that innovate little and grow ever-so-slowly.


Holiday [DVD]
Holiday [DVD]
Dvd ~ Katharine Hepburn
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £17.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvelously relevant for today, 7 Mar 2009
This review is from: Holiday [DVD] (DVD)
This is a marvelous film with two of Hollywood's greatest, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. It''s also a classic, Depression-era film in its focus on dysfunctional lives of the very rich, with much of it shot in a NYC home whose immensity is astonishing. Grant, as Johnny Case, demonstrates that, having made a small fortune on the stock market, he has no need for more. He wants to travel and enjoy life. For those caught up in the grind of typical Depression-era jobs, this 1938 film provided a marvelous escape.

There are parallels to today. Given the high taxes the New Deal placed on financial success, Case's urge to wander rather than labor for the IRS made a lot of sense. Those he disagreed with are portrayed as greedy. They might have been better portrayed as stupid. Instead, the film portrays them as hating the New Deal, but unwilling to abandon their pursuit of wealth.

Recent research at UCLA says that FDR's policies, hostile as they were to innovation and success, added seven years to the Depression. His current heir in the White House seems intent on following a similar path, one that could turn a recession plus credit crunch into a full-fledged depression and serve as an excuse to engage in an FDR-like expansion in the scope of government. Those who'd like to explore this topic in more detail can''t do better than Amity Shlaes marvelous bestseller, now out in an inexpensive paperback:

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

The 'forgotten man' of the title is the working man who gets shafted when a politician agrees to provide money to someone in exchange for their vote, 'people for instance, who borrowed more than they could afford for a home. And many of today''s forgotten men, those who''ve been careful not to buy too much home for their income, are thinking of adopting Cary' Grant''s solution, paying less in taxes by earning less and enjoying the time they save. And without their hard work and innovation, the US economy could go downhill quite fast. It''s what we get when we elect a president who, like FDR, has never held a real job and who thinks words are realities.

And if you want to see what that looks like in practice, visit Western Europe where Cary Grant's "take a long vacation" solution to high taxes and stifling government has become the cultural ethos of the majority. The result is high unemployment and economies that innovate little and grow ever-so-slowly.


Holiday [DVD]
Holiday [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cary Grant

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvelously relevant for today, 7 Mar 2009
This review is from: Holiday [DVD] (DVD)
This is a marvelous film with two of Hollywood's greatest, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. It''s also a classic, Depression-era film in its focus on dysfunctional lives of the very rich, with much of it shot in a NYC home whose immensity is astonishing. Grant, as Johnny Case, demonstrates that, having made a small fortune on the stock market, he has no need for more. He wants to travel and enjoy life. For those caught up in the grind of typical Depression-era jobs, this 1938 film provided a marvelous escape.

There are parallels to today. Given the high taxes the New Deal placed on financial success, Case's urge to wander rather than labor for the IRS made a lot of sense. Those he disagreed with are portrayed as greedy. They might have been better portrayed as stupid. Instead, the film portrays them as hating the New Deal, but unwilling to abandon their pursuit of wealth.

Recent research at UCLA says that FDR's policies, hostile as they were to innovation and success, added seven years to the Depression. His current heir in the White House seems intent on following a similar path, one that could turn a recession plus credit crunch into a full-fledged depression and serve as an excuse to engage in an FDR-like expansion in the scope of government. Those who'd like to explore this topic in more detail can''t do better than Amity Shlaes marvelous bestseller, now out in an inexpensive paperback:

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

The 'forgotten man' of the title is the working man who gets shafted when a politician agrees to provide money to someone in exchange for their vote, 'people for instance, who borrowed more than they could afford for a home. And many of today''s forgotten men, those who''ve been careful not to buy too much home for their income, are thinking of adopting Cary' Grant''s solution, paying less in taxes by earning less and enjoying the time they save. And without their hard work and innovation, the US economy could go downhill quite fast. It''s what we get when we elect a president who, like FDR, has never held a real job and who thinks words are realities.

And if you want to see what that looks like in practice, visit Western Europe where Cary Grant's "take a long vacation" solution to high taxes and stifling government has become the cultural ethos of the majority. The result is high unemployment and economies that innovate little and grow ever-so-slowly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2012 4:07 AM BST


Man Escaped [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Man Escaped [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ François Leterrier
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £34.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous but muted, 20 Feb 2009
This 1956 film demonstrates that a small budget doesn't mean a bad film. It clearly deserved to win the twin awards: "Best Director, Cannes Film Festival," and "Best Film of the Year" from the French Film Academy.

The film describes what it was like to be a political prisoner of the Germans in Paris during WWII. In their efforts to keep down resistance, both the guilty and innocent were arrested, convicted and executed. This is the story of one of those prisoners and his meticulous efforts to find a way to escape, supported and encouraged by his fellow prisoners.

My only complaint is that the horrors of this time were muted by the director. Beatings and executions take place off camera and Germans appear only fleetingly. Perhaps that was because in 1956 the terrors of the Nazi occupation was too recent to dwell on.

Michael W. Perry, editor of Dachau Liberated : The Official Report
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2010 10:18 AM GMT


A Man Escaped [DVD]
A Man Escaped [DVD]
Dvd ~ François Letterier
Offered by The World Cinema Store
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous but muted, 20 Feb 2009
This review is from: A Man Escaped [DVD] (DVD)
This 1956 film demonstrates that a small budget doesn't mean a bad film. It clearly deserved to win the twin awards: "Best Director, Cannes Film Festival," and "Best Film of the Year" from the French Film Academy.

The film describes what it was like to be a political prisoner of the Germans in Paris during WWII. In their efforts to keep down resistance, both the guilty and innocent were arrested, convicted and executed. This is the story of one of those prisoners and his meticulous efforts to find a way to escape, supported and encouraged by his fellow prisoners.

My only complaint is that the horrors of this time were muted by the director. Beatings and executions take place off camera and Germans appear only fleetingly. Perhaps that was because in 1956 the terrors of the Nazi occupation was too recent to dwell on.

Michael W. Perry, editor of Dachau Liberated : The Official Report


Around the World in 80 Days [DVD] [2004]
Around the World in 80 Days [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Jackie Chan
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.77

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chan Good, Disney Bad, 19 Feb 2009
The good news about this film is that it stars the always hilarious Jackie Chan and is quite funny. The bad news is that it was done by Disney.

Disney has alway treated its sources arrogantly and callously, acting as if could `do better' than a writer beloved by generations of kids. J. R. R. Tolkien noticed that in the 1930s, and shuddered at the thought that his tales might get their treatment. More recently, Disney abused Prince Caspian, by Tolkien's friend C. S. Lewis, remaking it into something they thought would do better with kids, resulting in mediocre performance at the box office and an agreement between them and Walden Media, that Disney would play no role in subsequent Narnia films. Good riddance.

In this case, Disney's victim is Jules Verne and his 1873 classic, Around the World in Eighty Days. The original is so heavily altered for the worst, that almost the only parallel to the original is the fact that both involve someone circling the world of the late 1800s in 80 days. Disney should have had enough integrity not to steal Verne's title and prestige for their own tale.

Even the essence has been altered by the too-clever-by-half twits at Disney. Verne loved science and pioneered science fiction as new form of literature. Almost all the scientists in this Disney perversion are corrupt, blundering or stupid. That and a plot that isn't good for children, reflecting too much of what passes for `values' in Hollywood, makes this a film parents might want to take a pass on.

--Michael W. Perry, Stories for Girls: Lovingly Adapted for Twenty-First Century Children


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-13