Reviews written by registered user
|243 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is generally quite an enjoyable heist movie, though the plot (of the heist) has some enormous holes you can drive a bus through. The problem with the heist is first its conception: its main perpetrator should be pretty obvious to all affected, and the information that the heist actually took place would not simmer through to the police is totally unrealistic; the second problem is the sheer coincidence that a string of crooks not only all use the same set of deposit boxes, no - they also just happen to frequent the same prostitute - who then somehow gets together with a bank employee who just happens to be master safe cracker. Hm! I have less of a problem with the conduct of the final chase - which some other commentators complained about. The idea the pursuers would want to catch Collins alive to make sure of the money first is credible. Moreover, hitting a running person from distance with a pistol is no mean feat anyway - moviedom has distorted our expectations in that respect.
This TV series, transmitted between 5 and 7 in the early evening slot
on the ARD, was a fairly accurate reflection of actual police work at
the time. The action content was ever so slightly revved up for
entertainment purposes, and each episode had a self-contained story,
but other than that it does not feel too far removed from reality TV.
Apparently there was indeed some collaboration with Hamburg's police,
and - probably not entirely unconnected to that - the odd episode here
and there feels like a police education video.
Several episodes were filmed outside Germany, in France and Japan, on the pretext of a police exchange programme (we always keep our leading man), and these episodes have aged much more badly than the rest of the series.
The central plot idea of a non-petrol-based car whose development is
being sabotaged by vested interests from the oil industry is a good
one. (The title refers to the killing OF cars, rather than to cars that
kill.) However, it does not make ideal material for an action thriller,
and that is exactly what director Verhoeven attempted here.
As a result there are quite a few unlikely moments in the film where my capacity to suspend disbelief was overstretched. In particular, way too much importance was given to that one example of the World Car, as if Korda had built that thing himself, entirely instinctively using a hammer and a soldering iron - and setting issues such as rights to intellectual property completely aside.
The film tries very hard to look stylish, in a very 1980s sort of way, and from a modern perspective some of this looks a bit silly: wearing sunglasses at night, Backgammon as a game that separates the men from the boys, etc.
A story of lust, murder, jealousy, blackmail - but mostly sex.
The UK video release of the film, called Sex Crazy, had a completely generic cover - with absolutely no hints at plot, cast, director, origin, or that it would be at all a feature film. So it came as a bit of a pleasant surprise to find a complete feature film with a proper plot, never mind several plot twists.
Cast, writing, setting and production values of the film are mostly fine, with one exception: one actor was aged by the make-up department, and not to the best effect, to put it politely. There was really no need for this measure anyway, as it would have sufficed to cast an older actor for the role.
This aside, the main problem with the film is that it cannot really decide what it wants to be: a sex film with crime elements, or a crime drama beefed up with sex scenes. As a result, it is a bit of both and somehow neither: the sex drags the viewer's attention away from the plot, and the plot elements undermine any budding eroticism from developing. Considering that the UK released I watched was cut by 9 minutes I have to allow for the possibility that the original version of the film balances sex and crime to a better effect.
Anything with Peter Alexander and Heintje as top-billed cast members
normally qualifies as an embarrassment that makes you want to hide
behind the sofa - and this is not really an exception. The horrible
couple unsurprisingly burst into song at inopportune moments, often too
quickly to give the viewer time to hit the mute button. To make things
worse, Peter Alexander plays his usual everybody-loves-me character - a
character that was dated long before this movie came out.
However, this film can boost a few redeeming values - the support cast of Lingen, Schündler, Golling, and Stephan is in good form, but a particular jewel that really lifts the film is the scene with Werner Finck and Harald Juhnke. As brief as the scene is, it shows a prime example of Finck's perfect comic timing; that scene alone makes the film worth watching.
In the early 1970s Erwin C. Dietrich's sex-film factory went into
overdrive. There was no room any more for plots, the films' episodic
structure often betrayed a similarly episodic production history that
would allow a flexible assembly of the shot material. Blutjunge
Masseusen had at least a common theme - brothels masquerading as
massage parlours, embedded in a narration in which a travel agent was
openly soliciting these ventures.
This set-up does not promise too much originality, and when the writing did come up with something fresh and unexpected (like the roller-skate episode) then the competent but bog-standard cinematography seemed unable to turn this into something special.
People with an affinity to the genre may want to try one of Dietrich's episodic films of the period, and this would be as good or bad as most. Very much a case of "if you've seen one you've seen all".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This late follow-up to the Lass-Jucken-Kumpel series moves the centre
of the plot to the miners' football club, a lower division outfit
called FC07. Of course, this remains a sex film, and many people
associated with the club in one form or another reveal their sex lives:
one woman commits adultery with any man she fancies, a young couple
find their first love, a middle-aged couple try to spice up the marital
bed by following advice from sex education manual, etc. Eventually, the
striker of an opposing football team is taken care of during the
The quality of the acting is better than average for this kind of movie, and I am inclined to blame most of the hammier moments on the patchy writing. Having said that, writer Moppel Claer successfully manages to capture a contemporary working-class atmosphere throughout. The biggest problems of the film are that the connections between football, miners, and sex appear rather forced.
In many ways, this is an unnecessary re-telling of a story we have seen
realized many times before (and since), and often filmed better. It was
certainly not Beau Bridges's finest hour.
What was unusual and certainly the major selling point of the film was that the leading ladies (Andress and Kristel) would shed their clothes on quite a few occasions. As this film's US rating is PG and as the American running time is 12 minutes shorter than the British 15-rated release (which is the one I saw) it is highly likely that most if not all nudity was cut from the American version. Which is a shame as this is the only proper reason to watch this film.
Rolf Thiele's swan song is a film like a lazy teenager hanging around
in malls - it does not know what it wants to be. There are signs of
satirical ambitions, holding hedonistic 1970s upper class German
society a mirror in its ugly face, but these aims are only pursued
half-heartedly. We also find elements of farce, but the film fails to
demonstrate the wit or the bite farces require. Hans Clarin provides
the commentary in his famous funny voice, promising humour but barely
creating a strained smile in the audience. Other hints point at drama,
musical, sex film, but none of these styles is followed through.
The leading actress is pretty but neither a thespian nor someone who commands the screen. Considering the dramatic ambitions of the film this was a bit of a problem. As a result she comes across as a waste of space - a pretty waste of space, but a waste of space nevertheless.
But the worst part of the film are the musical numbers. They are very much in the tradition of German political cabaret. These kind of songs do not adapt very well to the cinema screen at all anyway, but Thiele (or whoever was responsible for them) aggravated the problem by using old-fashioned cabaret costumes and old-fashioned musical styles. The result is at odds with the rest of the contemporary setting of the film.
The IMDb classifies the genre of the film as Drama/Musical, but
"Pretentious Nonsense" is probably a more accurate characterization,
even if this is a little unkind. The film is certainly pretty to look
at; each scene is (visually) as carefully composed as an oil painting,
and the slow pace combines these images to an overall impression that
is not unlike visiting an art gallery, i.e. moving from picture to
picture, pondering over each for a while.
The classical music accompanies this well and enhances that emotion, and the characters' movement have a certain balletic quality that fits to the mood.
However, that alone does not make a movie. There is barely a story extractable from the proceedings, and the personal relationships between the characters do not ring true, not physically, not emotionally; they are just weird. Ballet has similar difficulties when it tries to tell its audience a story, but there is little justification for maintaining this difficulty at the cinema, just for the heck of it.
The film is certainly watchable, like a piece of art, and is in this sense a vast improvement over Schroeter's dreadful "Das Liebeskonzil", but it does not engage the audience. In other words: for toffee-nosed elitists only.
|Page 1 of 25:||          |