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Mein Bruder, der Vampir (2001)
Very funny + likable, a little twisted too
This is a wonderful movie... the plights of those 3 siblings are very believable, while at the same time being very funny - not "rolling on the floor" - funny... more "smiling all the way through the movie" kind of funny (although I nearly fell of my couch when Mike starts giving his retarded brother some practical instructions on how to get rid of sexual pressure). The story is about Mike, a young guy with girlfriend troubles, his mentally disabled brother Josch, who wants nothing else for his birthday than his first sexual encounter - with Mike's girlfriend! - and their sister Nic, who knows all about the genetical and biological background of reproduction and now wants to experience it first hand with the area's biggest bully. The three of them are quite close and try to help each other, but the results are of course hilarious. The ending is a bit daring... just as unconventional as the whole movie (which is a good thing in my books). If you get the chance to see this, by any means check it out!
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
There's a message for us girls in this movie - NOT!
When I watched this movie, I only felt bored (it is dragging on for far too long), but after it was finished and I was starting to digest it, I started to dislike it more and more. The reason for that is the the blatantly stupid message - stay where life has put you. Don't go out and find your own place and way of life - it will just make you sad and the only place you can be happy is your good old home anyway. That goes especially for you ladies - you only want a career because your stupid husband can't provide. Once he becomes a reliable source of income and security, you will be totally happy to ditch your own life and career and be a nice housewife and mother for his brats. Yuck! Mainly good acting and a good soundtrack, but that still won't take away the bitter aftertaste this movie left in my mouth.
The Perfect Storm (2000)
Impressive, Captivating, Intense...
To me, this was one of the most captivating movie experiences I had for years. Even though I just watched it on a TV screen, not at the Cinema, it had me glued to my seat for its entire running time.
This is not a big character drama (go watch a Woody Allen movie if you're looking for this) and it's not a documentary on professional fishing either. It is not an intellectual treat. It's one of those movies you have to open up to and just let yourself be taken away instead of analyzing every detail while you're watching. If you allow yourself to be pulled into it, you'll have 2 intense and exciting hours, and the power of the waves thrashing the "Andrea Gail" around will make you feel real scared and nauseous.
I'm truly sorry for the people who are not able to enjoy a movie like that anymore because they are too busy watching out for little details they can nag and criticize about later. They're missing out big time.
I, for one, loved this movie. After it was over, I switched of my TV, took a real deep breath and slowly crawled back into reality.
The Mists of Avalon (2001)
How to turn a wonderful, thought-provoking book into a politically correct soap opera...
I was really surprised to hear someone actually tackled the difficult task of turning this fantastic book into a movie. And how I hoped the movie would be true to the spirit of the novel! Having watched it, I'm both disappointed and angry because it is clear the script doesn't even TRY that.
The first part was actually ok, although several important scenes that are absolutely needed to understand the story later on (like the relationship between Morgaine and Lancelot) were edited out. At least, they got the pacing right in part one - I didn't get the feeling they were rushing through the story.
Then I saw part two, and it got real nasty. Not only did the pacing change (of course, they had to put 3/4 of the book in 1/2 of the total running time, as part one only covered about 1/4), also, every detail that would have made the story and characters understandable was left out. Lancelot's relationship towards Morgaine, towards Arthur (!) and even towards Gwenhwyfar remains completely undefined, Morgause's motives are reduced to pure envy and the religion of the goddess is reduced to having visions and being able to part the mists of Avalon. The sequence of actions was completely mixed up, major portions removed and others completely mangled (Morgause killing Viviane? Come on!). The worst screw-up is the ending which was purely disgusting and showed the writer of the script either completely misunderstood the book or, even worse, decided to turn it into its own opposite on purpose.
In the book, Morgaine realizes that although the power of Avalon may be gone, the goddess is not, when she sees a statue of Brigid, once an Irish goddess, now turned into the "holy Bridget" by the new religion (symbolizing the survival of the old religion even through the new one). She then sees once more an image of the holy grail in the chapel (symbolizing the possibility of a peaceful coexistence of both religions) and finally manages to open the mists of Avalon for the last time and disappear into them.
The movie lets her look at a statue of the virgin Mary (the very symbol of how Christianity glorifies virginity and reduces women to the sole purpose of childbearing) and understand the goddess is alive ???
In short, everything remotely non-pc was relentlessly cut from the novel and the rest was turned into a medieval soap opera without any character development. The only consolation is that Marion Zimmer-Bradley did not have to see this butchering of the very spirit of her work.
As to how the movie will appeal to someone who did not read the book, I don't know - I suspect it will be seen as a decent medieval adventure but the holes that the removal of multiple important scenes leave will probably confuse.
Nice acting by Margulies, however, and especially by Hans Matheson (Mordred).
Angel Eyes (2001)
Huge snorefest except for the first 30 minutes
I very much regret dragging my friends into this boring, badly acted and badly filmed piece of trash - they'll probably never ever again let me choose the movie for the evening!
"Angel Eyes" was billed as a mystery thriller. The first hint that it was not going to be one was the first two minutes that already gave away all the mystery by making sure everyone whose IQ isn't below that of a gorilla knows who the mysterious stranger that Sharon will encounter later is. The first half hour or so the movie actually works as a weird love story about two people who do not dare to really open up to each other, but then all the traumatic experiences of their childhood and disfunctional families come up and transform the movie into a horribly boring experience for the viewer.
The hapless spectator is tortured by endless shots into the faces of the protagonist telling their sad stories and trying to look traumatized. And it does not end before the movie does...
J-Lo tries to come over as a tough cop by doing a kind of "John Wayne walk", which looks plainly ridiculous. And she's not looking all that good in her bikini, either...
The one good thing about this garbage is Jim Caviezel looking absolutely gorgeous in his trenchcoat, with his stubble, deranged hair and lovely blue eyes (if there are any angel eyes in this movie, it's those). Unfortunately, that's not enough to save this snorefest.
One of the worst movies I ever saw.
Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
Well acted and realistic, but very depressing
This is a one-of-a-kind movie. I never saw such a depressing, realistic account of what life can be for a social outcast. The acting is superb, and I caught myself wanting to yell at the protagonists all the time. Not only at the cruel classmates and the absolutely incompetent parents and teachers, but also at the "heroine" Dawn herself, who relieves her frustration by hitting on the even weaker ones, using the very same insults the others throw at her.
One should think that somebody who suffers injustice or cruelty would understand best how wrong it is to treat others this way, but the sad truth is that these victims often act as bad (or worse) against those that are even lower on the social ladder. Abused children often become abusers when they have kids of their own. This is one thing the movie reminded me of.
An interesting movie, but so depressing that I don't want to see it again. It is beyond me how one can really laugh at anything in this movie - unless it's the Missys or Cookies of this world, who never learned how it feels to be treated like this.
This movie delivers what 8mm promises
This scary little thriller about a student who accidentally finds a snuff video and goes to look for the killer together with a horror movie freak was so much better than the disappointing 8mm (which dealt with the same subject). Not only is TESIS a lot scarier, it also offers more insight into the central question the topic routinely provokes: Why would people make snuff movies? And more important, why would people WATCH snuff movies?
While TESIS cannot provide a definite answer (well, we do not even know if there really ARE snuff movies or if they are just an urban legend), it gives some pointers and even dares exploring the often denied link between sexual fantasy and violence.
The fresh, young actors are excellent, too. If you can get your hands on it, watch this movie!
A gripping movie, and often misunderstood
After all I heard and read about this movie, I think this one of the most commonly misunderstood movies ever. It is not a comedy (although sometimes bizarre). It is NOT a glorification of violence. It is not about S/M or Bondage (which occurs between consenting parties). It's message is NOT that if you tie up and beat a woman, she will love you in return.
This is a movie about two people who are unable to master life on their own. This has led Ricky to the mental ward and Marina to being a drug-addicted porn star, who just happens to have a streak of luck because a movie director is completely obsessed with her. In the end, the two have found each other and it looks as if together, they can find the happiness and home they always were looking for. Beautiful...
Yes, Ricky's method of convincing Marina to love him is horrible and unacceptable. His attitude toward women and life in general is seriously twisted, and he just cannot think of any other way to get what he needs to fulfill his desire of living what he considers an ordinary life. Why does Marina fall for it? Probably because he's the first person who ever seemed to care about her. He fights to get her, he fights to help her. Even if his interest in her is ruthless and possessive, it is a genuine, deep interest and that is what she has been missing all her life.
I found Atame to be a fascinating and remarkable movie. Watch it open-minded and try to look beneath the pure surface of the plot, and you will be moved and captivated by its beauty.
Gory, but real fun!
I did not have very high hopes for this one (a German slasher movie? "Anatomie" was quite good but I never heard of "Flashback" before...) But Flashback was actually a pleasant surprise! It is rather gory and has certainly earned its FSK 18 classification, but it is also quite clever, thrilling and has just the right small dose of humor. The story has some interesting twists and turns and I was glued to the screen throughout the whole movie. More of this, please!
Nur über meine Leiche (1995)
Bizarre and rather silly comedy with lots of good laughs
The only thing this movie has in common with the standard German comedy is the fact that Katja Riemann is in it. Apart from this, it is really a unique trait - with very macabre and sometimes outright silly humor. Director Rainer Matsutani is better known for the one episode he did for the original Lexx series (the movie series, not the TV series that followed) and his taste for the fantastic and bizarre clearly shows in this black comedy, too. Fred is such a disgusting character that one is almost tempted to genuinely like him, as is his horrible wife Charlotte. If you're looking for an unusual German production, give this one a try (unless you're afraid of turkeys, of course...)