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Fortier: S01 - 2001 - 6/10

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Canadian police procedural follows “elite” unit given dirty cases, primarily sex crimes.
Dr Fortier is the female psychologist assigned to the team.
Solid ensemble show, though Fortier’s quirks are overdone and distracting.
S01 has ten episodes.  Five two-part stories.
OK, but not on par with the best Scandinavian crime shows, though this is a decade earlier.
Note - Set in Quebec, Fortier is a French language production.

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Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution - 2005 - 8/10

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Outstanding six part documentary of infamous camp.
Digging deeper than the usual horror parade, this shows the early role of the camp, before its metamorphosis into a killing machine.
At first it was intended for political prisoners, then Russian POWs, eventually Jews and all enemies.
Actors employed, as well as reenactments, though producers restrained themselves.
One unforgettable sequence is a lengthy photo montage of children heading into annihilation.
Another sequence is of a camp survivor, returning to her village, finding her home and possessions appropriated by neighbors.
Pointed reminder for idealistic birds who declare such things shall never happen again!

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World War One - 1964 - 7/10

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One hundred years ago, the United States entered the “war to end all wars.”
This documentary highlights the American reaction to, and subsequent involvement in World War I.
Robert Ryan narrates and this has a wealth of newsreels and images, many seldom seen before.
Episodes also highlight the less traveled:  the occupation of Belgium, the Lusitania, the Jutland naval campaign, Germany’s meddling in Mexico to distract America, home front disorder, and an early word - slackers.
Also detailed look at the aftermath.  Reparations against Germany, along with Allied interference with the new nation, Soviet Union, aiding the “Whites” and sowing the seeds of distrust that grow to this day.

There are several outstanding documentaries on World War I.
The finest in The Great War (1964), 26 episodes with interviews of still surviving veterans.
This documentary, World War One, covers slightly different ground and should appeal to Yanks.
A third, The First World War (2003), is excellent at covering the “world” aspects of the conflict, displaying battles outside of Europe.

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City Hunter - 2011 - 6/10

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Jin Pyo seeks revenge on government officials who betrayed and murdered his black ops team.
He kidnaps an infant, then trains him for 20+ years to be his instrument of revenge.
Trouble is ... the child grows into preferring justice over vengeance.
Revenge is a staple of K-dramas, and the father figure, Jin Pyo, clutches a toxic form of it.
Choreographed action every other episode, martial arts predominate over gunfire.
The love story (hello - this is a K-drama!) is corny and annoying, though characters grow on one.
At 20 episodes, this is overlong and padding is evident.
Emotional entanglements get quite involved by the last act.
Despite a so-so score, I watched to the end and enjoyed.

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Posted

Les Oubliées - 2007 - 6/10
AKA - Forgotten Girls

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Fifteen years after the sixth girl disappeared, another one vanishes.
The serial killer has resurfaced.
Not that murders are confirmed, for no bodies have ever been found.
Families, exhausted by despair, suspect the cold case detective is way over his limit.

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Six part French mystery of forgotten victims and an officer who pushes himself to madness.
Directions shift throughout, rather like a lost car tackling meandering intersections.
Character study of driven individual fighting apathy, resignation and suspicion.

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Atami Police Investigators - 2010 - 6/10
AKA - Atami no Sôsakan // 熱 海 の 捜 査 官

A bus carrying four schoolgirls disappears into the  fog along an empty stretch of road.
The vehicle is never found, police are stumped.

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Three years later, one girl returns, soon the bus is found, events escalate.
Catalyst for events might be the arrival of two agents from the WAI.
J-drama similar to one of the X-Files shaggy dog episodes.
Twin Peaks fans will identify the assortment of local oddballs and bizarre settings.

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Leads and false trails grow at a dizzying pace.  The ceramics club fronts teen prostitutes.  The giant fish.  Why does one boy pose nude in the mostly girls school?  What is in that static filled cassette?  Where did the religious cult originate?
Musical score swings from choral arrangements to sleazy blues to elegant Satie.
Onion layer mystery, laced with very Japanese humor and irreverence.

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Posted

Timi Nornarinnar - 2011 - 7/10
AKA - Season Of The Witch

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Troublemaker journalist is exiled from Reykjavík to Akureyri, northern Iceland.
He covers a missing dog, gets “man in the street” opinions.
Then starts to investigate the ugly murder of an actor wearing a witch’s robe with runes..
Later, he is asked to dig into an accidental drowning of an ailing woman.
Serbian gangs, an abandoned parrot, Iceland myths and gods, swirl in ever present snow.
Decent four-part mystery told from the newspaperman’s very droll point of view.
Bonus is plenty of rugged outdoor scenery, as well as historical tidbits.

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Posted

City Hunter - 2011 - 6/10

City%20Hunter%202011.jpg

Jin Pyo seeks revenge on government officials who betrayed and murdered his black ops team.
He kidnaps an infant, then trains him for 20+ years to be his instrument of revenge.
Trouble is ... the child grows into preferring justice over vengeance.
Revenge is a staple of K-dramas, and the father figure, Jin Pyo, clutches a toxic form of it.
Choreographed action every other episode, martial arts predominate over gunfire.
The love story (hello - this is a K-drama!) is corny and annoying, though characters grow on one.
At 20 episodes, this is overlong and padding is evident.
Emotional entanglements get quite involved by the last act.
Despite a so-so score, I watched to the end and enjoyed.

​My GF used to watch this one a lot because of that main actor. I have watched the anime version and i have to say that this one is really off. The fight and some scenes are cut off and its really typically of K- Drama.

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Jiu: Special Investigation Team - 2011 - 5/11
AKA - Jiu: Keishichou Tokushuhan Sousakei // ジウ 警視庁特殊犯捜査係

Jiu%202011.jpg
 
Small children are kidnapped for high ransoms.
The loot is not squandered, however.  Something “big” is planned.
Cop J-drama follows two female officers.
Izaki is the hardass, physically combative type, Kadokura is quieter and idealistic.
Not a buddy movie, though, as one female transfers to SIT, the other to SAT.
Both investigate the blonde serial killer, Jiu, as corpses stack high.
Corny, clichéd, shallow, juvenile.  NWO plotline.
Style flares in the final two episodes. if you stay around long enough.

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Altes Geld - 2015 - 8/10
AKA - Old Money

Altes%202015.jpg

Gleeful, diabolical entertainment here!
Udo Kier plays wealthy patriarch, dying of liver disease.  He makes a proposal.
Whoever delivers a healthy organ will inherit the family "business."
Relatives, advisors, employees, wolves in suits, sharks in gowns, rip into each other.
Treachery, incest, kidnapping, backstabbing, more incest, murder, blackmail, torture.
Moreover, despite my comments about German comedy, this is laugh out loud funny.
Mean spirited, midnight humor aimed for cynical adults.  Eight parts, Austria.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν

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