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This German cable TV movie is quite excellent, good enough to have been a theatrical release even. Baumeister gives one of her best performances, totally believable as the now grown up victim of parental child abuse bit by bit coming to understand what she went through, but finding so difficult to say - and what her own young daughter may be going through in the same family household where she is in custody. Baumeister's terrific transformation will get under your skin. Sat1, and all the other German (cable/national) networks for that matter, really ought to release all their Baumeister TV movies on DVD knowing that she's one of Germany's most popular actresses. Really beyond me why they don't, given that these 1990s and 2000s productions so rarely have another showing on TV.
The Guardian (1990)
New meaning to "treehugging"
I've seen this film now 3 or 4 times over the last 14 years or so, and everytime I'm amazed how bad it is and embarrassed that I'd forgotten and watched it again. It's bad filmmaking from start to finish, very sad when you consider who the director is. I can't for the life of me understand why Friedkin made this film, must've payed nicely but it's got "TV-movie" written all over it. The script is utterly bad, I'm sure Friedkin must've known because he doesn't seem to invest anything in the direction, it's completely flat and uninvolving save for the (thankfully) lack of music. The lovely Seagrove (ooo', British accent, scaaary villain) seems uninterested as Camilla while ex-Bond girl Lowell (sporting a terrible haircut) just stands around doing absolutely nothing pretty much throughout the entire film. Brown is probably best, giving it his all with a character as dumb as they come. Some other fine actors are wasted; Ferrer and Randle are seen in two short scenes, and Berkley in one - alright, so he was a bit-part player back then but still. The different babies playing the todler are given a rough-and-tumble time, snatched out of hands, pushed, and thrown around. This film is just a mess, it's boring, no sense of timing, badly paced and constructed. It's supposed to be a horror film, but it lacks the two all important ingredients - atmosphere and suspense.
Polle Fiction (2002)
Best Danish movie ever !
"Money, power, lust - and mud !", such reads the tagline of "Polle Fiction". Don't believe a word when people tell you this movie is bad - it's great !. Forget all those awful looking unbearable Danish films of late in the so-called Dogme style, "Polle Fiction" is quite simply the greatest comedy to ever come out of Denmark. It may be based on a series of Danish TV commercials (the movie is kept in the same style), but you forget this as you watch it. The filmmakers have succeeded in giving it the feel of a real movie. Yes, it's sleazy slapstick of the ultra offensive kind and the story is paper-thin, but so were many movies years ago and people still flocked to see them. If you're one of those who believe yourself to be a serious film fan and this silly stuff is below you, and that movies in general have changed for the better and so forth, ie. all movies today need be "intelligent" for you to (think you) enjoy them, then you really have a problem with not only humour but movies in general. "Polle Fiction" (the title is a playoff on "Pulp Fiction", obviously) is somewhat related in spirit to over-the-top type crazy and violent British TV sit-coms like "Bottom" and "The Young Ones", admittedly nowhere near as brilliantly written as those TV shows, but undoubtedly inspired by the mad antics of Rik Mayall & Co. The story is simple: the one good guy in the movie (in the whole town really), Polle, is constantly bullied by his "friends" at work, Heino and Jøgge, and one day he has a gruesome accident resulting in him being scalped by the giant tube they use to suck up muddy waste - that's their job, you see. It's also a love story, believe it or not. The acting, by mostly unknowns, is superb and there's a rich gallery of goofy characters; the beer drinking insane Heavy Metal and '80s German pop music crowd the ever-taunted Polle hangs out with, a vile sexist/racist/rapist driving-instructor (!), the Turkish immigrant pizza owner, a single mother (who's a stripper) with her two incredibly annoying kids, and the nutty local DJ who plays all that terrible music. Apparently the story takes place in the '80s but it might as well be today. The action is based solely in the tiny village of Snave in Denmark, and the humour is very "local" as are (obviously) the dialects. If this movie ever gets a foreign release (I've heard rumours it may) many of the funny bits will be lost in the translations, but it'll still be hilarious. "Polle Fiction" is a nice surprise, and a cool breeze in the overrated Danish movie landscape which has grown accustomed to awards and unworthy praise lately, alas, thinking too highly of itself. Let's hope there will be many sequels !.
Bad Moon (1996)
Not bad, not bad at all
Honestly, I don't know what some people expect from werewolf movies these days. -They can't be as good as "The Howling" or "An American Werewolf In London" all of them, you know. This one at least tries to give us a decent werewolf film, and I think it (largely) succeeds. Some reviewers complain about there being too much CGI in this movie, but as far as I can tell, there is only a tiny bit. When the werewolf is seen full body, hey, that's not CGI it's real hairy make-up !. -Isn't that what we're all screaming we want back in movies ?. Sure it is, and here it is. As werewolf movies go this is a pretty good little movie. "Little" actually being the keyword there, because if there's a problem with this movie it's the running time. -I mean, 79 minutes, come on !. That's way too short. It doesn't look to me like it was cut down though, I fear they just didn't shoot anymore than what's on screen otherwise the DVD would've included outtakes, I'm sure. I wonder why it's so short, it doesn't make any sense, afterall you want beastly action in a creature feature like this. What this movie needs to be really great, are some more werewolf attack scenes, alas, we get only a couple when just a single one more kill would've done the trick. Oh well, it's still a good werewolf movie and there's even a clip on a TV-screen from Universal's "Werewolf Of London" (1935) with Henry Hull. The beast itself in "Bad Moon" is great looking, a bit like the creature in "Silver Bullet". All in all a fine flick, we should be happy they even make werewolf movies anymore. I guess it's true what they say; legends never die, no matter how oldfashioned the subject. -Just stay away from CGI; a guy in a suit will do nicely, thank you.
Der Mann nebenan (1992)
Don't believe the bad reviews you may read about this film, this is a fine movie about a killer. The look of the film is very bleak which helps to set the atmosphere, Donaggio's score is good, and the cast is brilliant. Perkins' character spies on the people around him and he has a thing for mannequins, and his spending time with them is pretty creepy. Perkins seems to have been typecast as the weirdo towards the end of his career, but he does a very fine job as the mysterious man here never overacting once. German actor Bohm is one of the best of his generation in Germany, and I don't know if he was dubbed in this movie (I only have the German version where he does his own voice) but I know for a fact that he speaks very good English in real life. Ward of course is the daughter of British actor Simon. This is one of those rare thrillers where you really get under the skin of the characters. Take Perkins' character for instance, he's obviously a poor lonely soul in pain and you feel for him. If YOU feel this is a slow and boring movie you're probably right, and quite welcome to go and watch something more suitable instead, like "Con Air".
Man About the House (1973)
Classic British sit-com
I absolutely love old British TV series, and especially in the sit-com department they beat all other countries. I remember this particular series quite well even though I haven't seen it in a long time, luckily it's now available on VHS/DVD so I'll be buying it soon. Nothing beats that atmospheric shot-on-videotape look most British TV shows had in the '70s, when filmed indoors. Richard Sullivan is great as the guy the two girls find in their bathroom, and the two actresses are also both excellent. Terrific stuff. The series had two spin-offs; "George & Mildred" (about the landlord and his wife) and "Robin's Nest" (Sullivan's character minus the girls). Those who think the American version "Three's Company" is better only need to look at the amount of episodes it had, and suddenly it's not so funny anymore. I think the fact that "Three's Company" was filled with more characters and ran for a whopping 172 episodes compared to the original's small cast and 39 episodes says it all. Overdoing it kills any show, and the Brits always knew quantity is not the same as quality.