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56 reviews in total 
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21 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely brilliant, stunning, impressive!, 10 January 2015

Go and see this film, next week, tomorrow, right now!

No matter how old you are or of what gender or what you think about both Til Schweiger or Dieter Hallervorden. Go and see this film. It's worth it. It will touch you, even if you're a tough guy. It will amaze you. It will make you silently cry into your tissue. Silently, because you don't want to miss out on the next joke. Yes, this film is drama and comedy and character study and at the same time not shy to do fart jokes. It's the best by and with Til Schweiger I've seen and I certainly don't fancy him. But he knows so well what he is doing and in this film he placed himself rather in the background.

Because the foreground is taken by Dieter Hallervorden, known for silly silly silly comedies in the 70s and 80s and delivering here a performance which is prizeworthy. And by Emma Schweiger, who is not only an actor's cute daughter dragged in front of the camera to make daddy happy, but she can act and very well so and carries with her eleven years one half of the film on her shoulders.

Go and see this film. And you, distributors out there in the world, make sure people around the world CAN actually see this film and bring it to lots and lots and lots of cinemas. Everywhere. North, south, east, west. Please. I never give ten out of ten, but this time there was no other choice. I couldn't give eleven out of ten.

See. This. Film!

Foster (2011)
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Well done!, 17 May 2012

What a beautiful film! I've just seen it on youtube, it was uploaded yesterday, apparently I've been the second person to stay until the sixth and last part. I hope it stays there for a long time so people can find it and enjoy it as much as I did! Toni Collette and Ioan Gruffudd make an adorable couple, and although both the boy and the surroundings are just almost too quaint to be true (houses, streets, the home, the factory, the shop), the film never feels too unrealistic. Well, there are places like this in Britain and thankfully so. I loved the acting, especially of little Eli played by Maurice Cole, but also of aforementioned grown-ups and Richard E Grant, who I hadn't seen in years. Still as good as he always was. As it was mentioned before by someone, yes, two or three lines in the film were a tiny bit odd, but looking at the whole film they really don't matter.As a viewer you feel how much everybody enjoyed making this film and I certainly enjoyed watching it. I hope it soon will come out on DVD in Europe as well (not only in Australia!) so that more people can see it. Everybody involved in this film: Well done!

20 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Some ingredient was missing, 31 July 2009

Ten people meet on June 21st to have a dinner together, two of them inviting the other ones. No one really wants to go or meet the others although they are friends, they all have enough to do with their problems and would like to spend the evening in a different way. But they go, they smile at each other, they have nice chats and everybody is laughing and having fun. Then they go home, knowing they will meet up all again next year and everything will be the same.

Not quite. Things have changed. Their relationships, their health, their self conscience. The code to open the door.

Like in many French films, people talk a lot. That's what the French love to do and they love to do it openly, in real life as in films. But although there's lots of talk about, none of the ten main characters (plus the eleventh one which is the father of two protagonists, who are sisters) will probably stay with the viewer a longer time. With so many characters around, it's difficult to create deeper insights. Sometimes you wish for more background information, but the story is set at two evenings and you can only put so much into the film if you don't want to make it three hours long. The end is left somewhat open, which is okay, leaves you with your own imagination of what will happen next.

Still, something is missing. I can't quite put my finger on it. I liked the actors, the dialogue is good and sometimes really funny, other scenes where a bit moody or more serious. That's life for you. But still... some ingredient was missing. It's a film you see and once it's digested, you probably will soon forget about it. And that is a pity. But I don't know what should have been different either. Any idea, anyone?

PS: The recipe in the credits was a nice touch, though. Have to check whether I can find it somewhere again...

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
No positive surprise this time... pity, 25 May 2009

When reviews start appearing in magazines about films which will be released soon and the writers can't really write anything because the film wasn't shown to them... then normally there's something wrong in the state of Denmark, so to speak. The trailer(s) on the other hand looked fantastic and mouth watering, no matter in what language I checked (English, German, French).

I went to see this film because the first part had really surprised me (positively, I had expected a stupid cheap comedy), because I like Ben Stiller (Keeping the Faith, Tropic Thunder, Meet the Parents, lovely and promising) and because I love the guy who had the honour to play his famous countryman, Napoleon: Alain Chabat. Three good reasons and yet... after only half an hour or so I got a weird feeling I wouldn't be exactly happy when the film had finished and I would walk out of the cinema. And so it happened. But what had happened? Ben Stiller was funny, but not at his best. Larry Daley always seemed a bit remote-controlled, not really knowing on his own how to take the lead, where to go, what to do. He was the main character and then again not. The leading character, the one that you remember when the film is over, is Kahmunrah and his I dare say brilliant actor Hank Azaria, who deserves some real leading roles in the future. I hope someone will give him a couple soon, the man is simply wonderful. And the little Frenchman? I stick to watching his French films, as he actually gets to do something in them and I can actually understand what he says. I just hope his thick, incomprehensible accent was asked for by the director, because Monsieur Chabat's English in general thankfully is much better than that. For anyone who might be interested: "Papa", "I Do" (Prête-moi ta main) and "Didier" come warmly recommend, all available with English subtitles. But Napoleon in this film here, he was underused like the other baddies and could have been a great character if only the scriptwriters had let him. Some too short funny minimoments don't do the trick, sorry.

The whole film all in all seemed to be too long as certain scenes got boring because they were not fast enough, where other scenes should have been slower or different so that one could have actually got what all was going on as there was so much going on. Or maybe there just was too much going on in too many places with too many characters. Too many cooks spoil the broth, German saying, and there is something true about it.

So, well, I'm looking forward to the next films of Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria and Alain Chabat. Those three together again would be lovely, but with a slightly better script as they are all good actors and deserve good writing.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
When Saturday Lunch Time Comes..., 27 October 2007

Sometimes it happens that you switch on the telly and you fall into a film which began five minutes ago - and although you have no idea what this film is about or where it will lead, you just can't stop watching because the actors and their characters keep you prisoner. This happened to me this Saturday lunch time.

If someone tells you simply the story line in one sentence, "there's a boy who is about 11 who meets a new classmate who is big and fat and no one likes him, and that fat boy forces the first boy to be friends with him while the first boy actually would like to be friends with the class bully, and has a mother who suffers from agoraphobia and the fat boy's father is a drunk who works as a rude Father Christmas"- well, then you probably would think, erm, no thanks, not for me, too weird. But this weird story works brilliantly.

Both boy actors are great, very natural, good acting for their age, some adults could learn a thing or two from them; good acting equally from mother, father, teacher and other children from school. There is something about Scandinavian films, that you rarely find in other films, and I can't quite find the right words to describe it. They have a way to present the quirkiest story as if it could happen to you any time. And that makes it magically good and you want more like it.

Also look out for the actor who plays the teacher, Andreas Cappelen, in Monstertorsdag, another weird film, yet for an entirely adult audience.

This film here deserves a clear 9 out of 10.

I Do (2006)
17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious, 30 September 2007

There wasn't a dry eye amongst the audience yesterday afternoon after I left the cinema, having seen this gem of a film in a sold-out house as part of this year's Hamburg Film Festival. And the tears shed were all of laughter. This film was hilarious, there's no other way of saying this. There wasn't one boring bit in it, I laughed right through it and with me everyone else of us three hundred lovers of French cinéma.

Alain Chabat was absolutely terrific. A great clown if needs be and serious if the situation calls for it. The performance was of course completely over the top, but this was exactly what the story needed and what made it work so well. Equally great was Charlotte Gainsbourg who I love to see a lot, and the mother was also a very strong performance. The sisters could have been a bit more detailed in character script-wise, but apart from that there is nothing to moan about. I had a great afternoon seeing this film while Hamburg was drowning in rain outside, and I wish films like this from France would get a regular release in Germany. But the distributors is this country don't seem to understand that the French make good films. I at least can't wait to find a DVD which offers subtitles (Hello Australia? Please?) because that film I need at home to watch several more times!

Papa (2005/II)
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, 29 September 2007

I actually had intended to see this film on the annual Hamburg Film Festival as this was going to be the only chance to see this film in Hamburg on a big screen. French films very often don't get a release in this (stupid) country of mine, so best take the chance you get. But on the very day I wasn't in the mood to go out and therefore I didn't see it. I didn't know by the time what I had just missed out on.

Half a year later I was able to buy the film on DVD, as there were English subtitles on the French DVD, a glorious idea the French sometimes have, hence I could understand the film (my French is sort of non-existent). And only now I realized what an idiot I had been not seeing this film on the big screen.

This is so far the most beautiful film I've seen this year and after having seen two handful of films with Alain Chabat, this is now my favourite of his.

I can't find another word to describe this film than beautiful. The script, the direction, the camera work, the light, the choice of music and most of all the choice of actors is perfect. The only thing which also might have been slightly different is the title, as I think "Papa et son fils" would have made a good title as well. The son is as important as the dad, he could have been mentioned in the title too.

What really amazes me is that here is a film that works while it has no story. Films need a story, otherwise there is nothing to tell, one seems to think. But here is a film that works without a story. Because "a father and his son are driving in a car" isn't a story. And yet there is so much happening and not happening, said and not said, in the end you have seen a film with no story but so much to tell. Whatever you get to see, they drive in the car and sing to the music, the father jokes around, they stop to have lunch on a parking lot, they find a petrol station - everything that happens is just so normal, it happened to every one of us before, and yet there is something lurking underneath, the viewer gets soon the feeling, something is wrong here, not normal, and starts to wonder what it could be. And soon we get glimpses of what is the trouble. And still we know, these lovable characters, these two people, father and son, will manage to handle this, their lives.

This is one of the most realistic and at the same time beautiful films I've ever seen and all I can do is thank the writer/director to have had the courage to make this film. Chapeau! And thanks also to both leading actors who are more than performing in this as often it looks as rather like a documentary than an acting performance. I don't know whether French people see Alain Chabat more like a comedian or an actor, I think he is an awfully good actor and this is his strongest performance to date. Merci beaucoup.

20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Like Expensive Ice Cream, 24 July 2007

This is the first ever series coming out of Denmark to be shown on German TV, I believe- and bullseye right from the beginning! We all have seen lots of crime fiction on TV now, haven't we, with lots of corpses lying around, lots of gun firing, lots of blood gushing out of enormous wounds... This series shows us, the opposite is possible AND exciting. Don't you believe it? Watch it! Anna Pihl is a normal policewoman, no hero, no über-mensch, no tough bitch, she is a human being who happens to work in the police force. She lives together with her young son in a shared flat with a gay guy, has trouble with her father who gets older and is looking for Mr Right - or rather Mr Right, or two of them, to be precise, are looking for her. Everyday life. Everyday cases during work. And exactly that makes this series so great. Beautiful, to be more explicit. Of course you get thrilling scenes with screeching tyres and honking horns, swearing criminals and not-so-amused bosses. But it all looks real, as if work in the Copenhagen police force is exactly like this. Or in any other northern/ western European city. This series is a nice opportunity to get away from all that American fast food the channels like to serve so very often. Once in a while a little gem from Denmark is like expensive ice cream in your favourite flavour for dessert. Thank you, producers! 8 out of 10, for sure!

Apocalypto (2006)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Very strong cast, but sadly not much of a story, 9 June 2007

As soon as Apocalypto was out on DVD I rented it because after having seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ a few weeks ago for Easter on TV I was curious what this film was going to be like. Passion was a disaster of a film, stupid blood shedding and nothing but. No good actors, no story whatsoever, no detectable direction - just hearing spoken Latin in normal dialogues was what made me stay through the film. I was amazed how much I understood when subtitles were missing out on short sentences from time to time. Having learned Latin in school wasn't so bad after all! But the rest of the film was just looking like the extract of a sick mind. Sorry.

So, now Apocalypto. After just a few moments I was surprised that it was good what I was watching. It didn't look so much like a feature film but like a documentary. The actors didn't act, they were. Which is a quality in an actor you often don't even find in the great ones. But here, faces you've never seen before, you completely believed every bit of what you saw. Laughter, jokes, bitterness, timidness, joy, everything was the real thing. Normally you get this in European independent films only. But this here was a major production from Hollywood. Or not.

Congratulations to all members of the cast, you will hopefully get lots of good parts in the future, especially Rudy Youngblood and Jonathan Brewer. They can show lots of known actors how to act. The supporting cast was great, down to the smallest part. And certainly people from the departments for make-up, hair and costume did an absolutely fantastic and stunning job. I don't say too much in saying you've never seen things like these before in a film like they created.

I just wish - and that's why this film gets only seven out of ten points - there would have been a script which had been treated with the same care as everything else. There was almost no story. A man gets separated from his family, is brought to another place, can flee and gets back to his family. Is that really all you can come up with if you think of the Mayas? If you put up such an effort why use such a bleak storyline? This weak story took much of the characters' depth away which is a pity as the actors filled them with so much life. What would they have been able to do if the story had been greater? One can only imagine.

I'm curious what Mel Gibson's next film project might be. He doesn't seem to be a bad director. He just shouldn't participate in writing the script, rather concentrate on directing. He could make really good films, I believe. Thrillers, action films, mysterious stuff. Just concentrate on directing. Let somebody write a terrific story and then make a great film out of it! Within those limits... yeah!

Happy Feet (2006)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, 5 April 2007

Whenever Robin Williams does a film or a voice, I want to see it. So I wanted to see Happy Feet as well. I didn't know what the film was about apart from being about penguins. Which probably was bad, as I sort of expected a children's film (you know, it being an animated film). I was rather disappointed.

What I watched was an animated film which, yes, was aimed at children, but that children probably can't understand. At least not young ones and in Germany everybody is allowed to see this film, even children under 6. There's lots of sex talk, never plainly outspoken but always there, very often underlined with gestures. I'm not prude, but what does it do in a film like this? It's not necessary for the story, is it? Has nothing to do with a story about a penguin which is different and who shows his people that being different is okay too.

Well, if only that would have been all in the film. But no, of course there has to be a message, too. Don't forget, this was done for children, they have right to get a message, just a good story isn't enough. And yes, the message has to be hammered home instead of being subtle. The last ten minutes were almost unbearable. What, a little penguin dances? Oh my, let's stop fishing empty the seven seas!!! Please. Why is it that this happens so very often in American films? Can't they write a message into a film without clubbing the viewers to death with it? Only a few filmmakers seem to be able to do so, most of them doing independent films...

The same kind of story (someone is different, leaves and comes back to help the community with his different ideas) you can find in the equally animated film A Bug's Life. The characters in this film are more lovable, although equally voiced by Americans you don't have the feeling they come from a 'hood in New York but they speak just normal American English, and the message is treated subtly here. You learn something without noticing, without being hammered into the ground. Which is very important. A far better film!

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