Reviews written by registered user

3 reviews in total 
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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Works as a thriller, fails as a documentary, 27 April 2005

I can only agree on what most of the user comments here have pointed out: Notwithstanding the thrilling and gripping style - great editing for instance - in which the events are presented, the film as a whole is fairly questionable because of its undeniable intention to bash the Germans and their police force for what happened while at the same time refusing to investigate into other directions. Furthermore, it gives us little more than a glimpse of the terrorists' motivations, feeding the impression that we're watching a piece of propaganda that is - without a doubt - well executed. The probably most unbelievable faux-pas is that at no time during all the interviews the name of the witnesses are shown. Very amateurish! 8/10 for film-making, 2/10 for subject treatment. See it, but be aware of its slanted view!

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Back into the tomb!, 11 June 2002

I wasn't expecting too much when I rented this wannabe-entertainer from my local video store, because in the past video game material put on the screen never turned out to be a real cinematic pleasure. But after having seen Simon West's "Tomb Raider" starring the undeniable attractive Angelina Jolie I must confess that I shouldn't have expected ANYTHING!

Everyone who criticized "Final Fantasy" for being an overblown, senseless and emotionless video game disguised as a 2-hour-action-flick has to watch West's brave attempt to deliver a film that easily ranks among the three worst I've ever seen! In comparison to "TR" the animated "Final Fantasy" and even the "Pokemon"-films look like potential Oscar-Nominees for "Best Picture". And putting Lara Croft on the same stage with Indiana Jones as the modern female adventure heroine really seems like an insult on the reputation of Lucas' and Spielberg's masterpiece.

To be fair, no one expected "TR" to have a strong storyline and in-depth character development - if you bought tickets for "TR" you bought them for action and a sexy Angelina. Well, honestly, you get both of it. Nevertheless, the result is an annoying, ultimate failure due to several reasons:

The audience wanted action, West gave them action. The problem is that "TR" moves along with such a breakneck pace that it's impossible to find ANY plot in this exploding mess. The film jumps from one exotic location (or should I say LEVEL!?!) to the next, leaving the viewer with the feeling of a noisy and spectacular slideshow that is connected by constantly unbearable dialogue. Soon, you'll get tired of all this crash-boom-bang because there's hardly anything new in it. And when the time has come that West tries to reveal some melodramatic background of his characters, it is done so predictable and clumsy that I found myself grumbling at the absent director "O.K., you tried, you failed, get back to action!" The only good thing about "TR" is likely Angelina. She's the only "visual effect" that grabbed my attention. But even her presence can't help this flick from being a total waste of time.

So, in the end, I can just hope that "TR" remains the ultimate bottom of video game adaptations and that future attempts will treat the original material with more respect. There's actually some good stuff out there (imagine a good script for Nintendo's epic "Legend of Zelda" in the hands of a skilled director!), so don't mess it up like West did!

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An especially well-made TV-movie!, 6 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

They're rare, but they're there - good TV-movies made in Germany. This remarkable film, skillfully directed by Markus Imboden, THE young filmmaker talent of Switzerland, proofs that there is a place for serious teenage drama indeed.

The story is about 15-year-old Kathi (Anna Brüggemann), who lives in a small village and whose schoolmate Tina (Isabella Jantz) is found murdered after a big party of the local fire department. As Kathi doesn't want to just sit and wait for the results of the police, she takes on her own investigations. Soon she discovers aggression, greed, mistrust, personal intrigue and sexual obsession behind the fascade of a peaceful and secure community.

"Ein Dorf sucht seinen Mörder" succeeds on many levels.

The script draws a realistic and vivid portrait of a village that may seem lovely and inviting to you if you're on holiday there, but beneath the surface it's always seething.

As far as the cast is concerned the film offers excellent acting, including the supporting roles. In the lead, Anna Brüggemann is the emotional core of the story and though her bavarian dialect sounds a little bit artificial at times, she is totally believable and delivers an outstanding performance. In the role of her murdered friend Tina, Isabella Jantz is good, too. Despite the fact that the important story of her character has begun long before the movie's start and that she's visually off-screen after some 30 minutes she manages to make the audience feel sorry for her Tina. *SPOILER-WARNING* Thomas Schmauser, who plays Tina's emotionally confused and incalculable brother Hannes is the film's secret weapon. When he is finally arrested and pushed into a police car, he looks back to his embittered mother with an insane smile on his face and begins to whistle a funny melody. This scene is especially memorable. Other fine performances come from the charming Kai Scheve as Kathi's young father-in-law who is trying to integrate into the community and who gets prime suspect in the murder case; Monika Baumgartner as the pitiable woman, whose husband is dead and whose daughter is killed by her own son; the amusing Thomas Feist as the mayor's son who falls in love with Kathi; and Josef Bierbichler as the lawyer Dr. Haake who has a secret relationship with Tina.

What's equally as impressive as the acting is the cinematography by Jo Heim. With the exception of the party sequence the images are always cool with dominating blue and grey what underlines the atmosphere of the village.

Last but not least, the score must be mentioned. The use of zither music that evokes a feeling of a friendly and comfortable home stands in fascinating contrast to the sad story.

In conclusion I can highly recommend this film to everyone who has already lost his faith in well-made german TV-movies!