6 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Contains one brilliantly funny scene!
6 July 2011
This movie is absolutely stupid, but it contains one of the funniest scene I've seen in years: Master Bator has created a being that looks like an octopus, and while this being is trying to lick the legs of Dale Ardor, Evil Presence beholds the creature (which he hadn't seen before) and exclaims: "What is that disgusting green slime doing? Gross!"

He lifts the creature and throws it into a hole in the ground like a basketball. Master Bator is shocked by that and Evil Presence says: "Two points!" This scene nearly killed me. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is crap: 2 / 10.
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A filmed, violent painting-book
7 January 2004
Before the first big battle in this movie, the "good guys" around Theoden do not scream "Victory!" or "Freedom!" - no, they scream "Death!"

That made me feel pretty uneasy, because if even the "good guys'" only aim is the death of the "bad guys", then where is the difference between these two groups?!

Compared to a movie as serious, adult and mature as "Mystic river", "The return of the king" is nothing more than a filmed, violent painting-book: 6 out of 10.
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Does anyone know, if real wolves were shot for this movie?
3 March 2002
I really liked LE PACTE DES LOUPS. It was entertaining and suspenseful, it seemed logical to me (although the solution may be a little bit far-fetched), and it had some really great characters of which Fronsac and Mani were my favorites: They are real individuals who harm no one and accept only their own rules. Moreover the movie is a convincing portrait of France in the time of absolutism.

And please: Do yourself a favor and watch out for the very beautiful and talented Monica Bellucci, who plays a fascinating role whose true intentions are revealed only one at a time.

But there is one question that really bothers me: The movie contains a wolf hunting scene, in which some wolves seem to be authentically shot. You can't see it clearly, but it seems as if two or three shot wolves stumble and fall, after they have been hit by bullets. My question is: Does anyone of you know, if real wolves were shot for this movie? The end credit contained to sign of that being not the case.

If real wolves were shot for this movie, I would absolutely criticize this, because no piece of art is worth the killing of animals like wolves. I surely hope, the scenes were faked (and if so, then they are quite convincing!). In dubio pro reo: 8 out of 10 (otherwise: 7).
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Training Day (2001)
This movie SHOCKED me!
9 December 2001
TRAINING DAY is a shocking movie! Please, do yourself a favor and DON'T watch it, unless you're at least 16 years old (although 18 seems even more appropriate).

It shows life and death in the ghetto without any kind of compromise. It shows a cop who turned into a criminal, because he thinks that this is the only way to deal with crime at all. It shows how another cop's ideals of his job (and maybe the world as a whole) come crashing down in only one day. And most important of all: The movie doesn't give any answers to the questions it arouses; the viewer has to make up these answers on his own and it's not clear whether he will find them - or whether they exist at all.

In a way, TRAINING DAY has got a "happy end". But it's one of the darkest happy ends I've ever seen.

Ethan Hawke plays well, and Denzel Washington is simply brilliant: He gives the bad guy in an absolutely convincing manner.

TRAINING DAY is a true, drastic and important movie: 8 out of 10.
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Picket Fences (1992–1996)
"When in Rome, do like the Romans do."
8 October 2001
PICKET FENCES is one of my all-time favorite TV series. Its content is mostly brilliant, and there are some episodes that are worth watching again and again (for example "The body politic"). In my opinion, PICKET FENCES is the most entertaining and intelligent or simply: the BEST TV series of the 1990's.

I want to say something about some of the series' main characters - in order to a) express my opinion on them and b) maybe awake your interest in PICKET FENCES.

Jimmy Brock has to get two tasks under only one hat (in the word's truest meaning): He's a family's father and the Sheriff of the fictional town of Rome, Wisconsin. Mostly, he masters these two tasks in a very human way. That is, because he is a very moral person, who is willing to do nearly everything in order to defend his ideals.

He always acts accordingly to his own principles, but is also able to accept all the critique he sometimes hears (for example when he shot the dancing thief in the back). But his strong belief in his own principles can also be regarded as Jimmy's most negative character trait: At times, he can be so stubborn, that even the members of his own family turn away from him - even if only for a short period of time.

It's this ambivalence, which makes him a highly interesting character. Of all the series' characters, I can identify the most with Jimmy. He is my favorite character.

His wife Jill is a very social person. This seems closely connected to her work as a doctor: It's an everyday experience for her to help people. She doesn't leave it at pills and syringes, but also helps people around her in other fields - even if these people don't want her to help them (as for example in the episode "Paging Dr. God").

Nevertheless, I have some problems with Jill: Firstly, as I said, she often intervenes in business, that is none of hers; she's not able to merely watch something - no, she always feels compelled to act. Secondly, she's very conservative. That became evident for example, when she was in court and confessed, that she believes in the virgin birth of Mary (as seen in "Rights of passage").

I have even more problems with the Brocks' oldest child, their daughter Kimberly: On the one hand she's quite self-confident and ambitious, while on the other hand she's terribly precocious. She doesn't intervene as often as her step-mother Jill does, but she has an opinion on everything - which at times can be even worse. She's not even 20 and should maybe step back a bit. She doesn't know as much about real life as she thinks she does.

I hate Douglas Wambaugh. That's not mainly caused by his profession as an attorney, but more by his attitude towards his profession and by his understanding of right and justice: Wambaugh doesn't really care, whether his client is guilty or not - he simply wants to win his trials. Of course: True justice can't ever be achieved that way.

Wambaugh always goes with the tide, and he would absolutely unscrupulously take any citizen of Rome to testify for his client the one day and destroy the same citizen in court the very next day, if this seems "necessary" (to Wambaugh's definition). As contradictory as it seems: One could describe Wambaugh as "consequently opportunistic". At least he's got a dry humor, which I sometimes like.

Judge Henry Bone is on his best days Rome's conscience. On his worst days he seems to follow that, which was once called "Lex Bone" (in the episode "Without mercy"): This term concerns his sometimes seemingly arbitrary decisions, which sometimes seemed to me to be made following only Bone's very own sense of justice. The most unpardonable example was the acquittal of the murderer nun in the episode "Sacred hearts".

Judge Bone's name already insinuates, that he's sometimes as hard as a bone. His favorite sentence is a legend among the fans of PICKET FENCES: "Get outta here!"

Rome's two most important deputies are Maxine Stewart and Kenny Lacos. Even though they have some problems as well on their own as with one another, they are quite good a team. Maybe that's caused by the fact, that the two of them could hardly be more different from one another than they are: Maxine is insecure and manipulative to a degree, that one has to wonder how she could ever become a police officer. Kenny is a tough guy, who sometimes exaggerates his job and who can't always control himself.

Maxine dreams of true love - which mostly remains unfulfilled. Kenny, although being a strong catholic, is a quite chauvinist character: To him, women should mainly be in kitchen or in bed. I can't really identify with neither Maxine nor Kenny, but their discussions are often very amusing.

Carter Pike is Rome's coroner. He's an absolute authority on his field, but that's about everything positive that can be said about him. That is, because the rest of his life mainly consists of loneliness and failed relationships and the knowledge, that most citizens of Rome regard him as a ridiculous person. Which in a way he is, but that doesn't make him unsympathetic - on the contrary!

I can only recommend everyone to visit Rome, Wisconsin, via TV. I don't think, you'll regret it.
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I really liked it
25 June 2001

When I first heard of this movie, I thought: "What an unusual, interesting and poetic title! I wonder what this movie might be all about! It could interest me." Then I saw this absolutely fantastic movie poster, which I still like a lot: a beautiful red - I had to think of the title again! - with the two protagonists in the background and some red blurs (the blood cells, of course, but I didn't know that then).

Then I learned something about the movie's content and thought: "Usually, I don't like serial killer movies at all, because often they're too violent, but that mostly concerns Hollywood movies. So, let's see, what the French made out of it!" Which I did shortly thereafter.

And what shall I say? I really liked the movie, because it was full of suspense. It had two great lead actors: Jean Reno at his best (Watch his face, as he looks at the first corpse!), and a great Vincent Cassel, whom I didn't know before. The two stories in Guernon and Sarzac were well intertwined (save for the end, on which I will comment later on).

The cinematography was overwhelming (for example the shots in the mountains, when Niémans drives to the crime scene in the very beginning, and those, when he and Fanny climb through the snowy mountains before finding the second corpse). And finally the soundtrack by Bruno Coulais was brilliantly adjusted to each scene.

Moreover, I liked the movie for not being too violent. Although the victims were drastically tortured, before they were killed, neither the torture nor the killing is shown. And the violence is not "celebrated", which means it's not shown, as if it were any kind of fun or something the viewer also should do.

Once again: Watch Niémans' face, while he looks at the first corpse; this scene shows clearly what he thinks of the torture and the killing and that it's absolutely barbaric and immoral to do a thing like that. Hollywood movies often don't show that as clearly (e. g.: Is John Doe in David Fincher's absolutely disgusting and way overrated SE7EN not in a way shown as being "sympathetic"?).

Are there any weaknesses in this movie? Yes, of course there are. Firstly, there are the first scenes of the movie, while the credits start: The camera shows a rotting human corpse, which was a) quite disgusting, b) totally unnecessary, and c) in no connection to the movie. Because, of the corpses in LES RIVIÈRES POURPRES not one had the time to rot! (Think about it for thirty seconds - you will see that I'm right!)

And then there's the end of the movie; let's say the last fifteen minutes. I must admit that I didn't really understand it completely, which in other words means that I don't think it's absolutely logical. In my opinion, it's quite stupid and very disappointing compared to everything in the movie that happened before (though I can't and won't tell you about the end in detail here; go see the movie for yourself!).

Shakespeare wrote: "All's well that ends well." Does that mean everything's bad that has a bad end? (And let's face it: The end of LES RIVIÈRES POURPRES can in my opinion only be described as really bad!) The answer is no! Because for 90 of 105 minutes the movie is absolutely great and worth a watch.

Behind BILLY ELLIOT and CHOCOLAT it's my third favourite movie of 2001 so far. And if not for the end, it could have easily taken the first place of this list.

I'd like to rate it an 8, but because of the end I can't. So I rate it a 7. But it's a strong one.
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