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NVA (2005)
4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Deconstructional comedy, 19 October 2005

Do not expect a classic military comedy, which claims to make fun of the military while only enhancing a militaristic outlook. Instead it deconstructs the elements that make the military such a murderous machine. Kind of East German version of "Buffalo Soldiers".

"NVA" works on a meta-level that it sympathizes with its heroes' attempts to escape from army drill any which way they can. It's not about loud laughs but about long lasting smiles. Utopian, of course (in one scene you will be shown the harsh reality), but very thoughtful.

Just to fill the required 10 lines: Do not go into that movie if you have been an army officer and liked your job.

37 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
As a literary adaptation, it is superior to the Bogart version, 7 March 2005

You may regard the 1946 version as a classic because of the Bogart-Bacall pairing. As a literary adaptation, this version, however, is much better.

First of all, the plot stays true to the novel, whereas the older version had a plot ruined by the restrictions of the Hayes code, so that it contains numerous loose ends and unexplained developments.

Secondly, Robert Mitchum impersonates Marlowe much better that Humphrey Bogart. Bogart essentially recycles his role of Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon". Yet, Spade and Marlowe are very different characters. While Spade is a cynic who just barely remembers the remnants of morality (and Bogart is brilliant in that role), Marlowe is way beyond that point. He walks around people in a distanced, almost detached way. Only when he spots a glimpse of humanity in his fellow men, he is willing to engage himself (as with General Sternwood in "The Big Sleep"). Mitchum plays this character with great understatement, as it should be done, while Bogart makes Marlowe just another hard-boiled detective, which could be replaced by any other one.

Finally, both Sarah Miles and Candy Clark (while not being necessarily great actresses) bring over the lunacy of the Sternwood daughters beautifully. While the scenes between Bacall and Bogart a great, they are out of place in this plot, in which there is no place left for romance. It might have been appropriate for the characters of Marlowe and Linda Loring in "The Long Goodbye", but hardly in a movie adaption of a novel, in which Marlowe remarks "both Sternwood women were giving him hell".

So, while this movie transfers the plot to another time and another place, it is a much better adaption of the novel than the version often regarded as a classic.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Avoid this one, 24 October 2003

How comes talented people produce crap like this. There is a decent director (Bringmann directed the fine road movie "Theo gegen den Rest der Welt"), a good script-writer (Kahl co-wrote the sharp and witty "Wir können auch anders"), talented actors (Potente and Milberg were brilliant together (or apart) in "Nach 5 im Urwald") trying a remake of one of the best German comedies ("Die drei von der Tankstelle") and they come up with one of the worst movies of the decade. Ok, this was intended to be a vehicle to put Wigald Boning's TV comedy onto the big screen, but this does not excuse everything.

If you want to see a good movie, avoid this one and try one of the other films mentioned. If you want to see a bad movie, avoid this one as well as this is not even one of the "so bad it is actually good"-type. On the other hand, if you want to see the worst movie Franka Potente has ever starred in (and hopefully and in all likelihood will ever have starred in), this is the one to go to.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Recycled Comedy, but still o.k., 23 June 2003

Take Funny Bones, Saving Grace and Blow Dry, mash the scenes together and you will come up with a movie like Plots with a View. Even the appearances of Christopher Walken and Alfred Molina can't give this movie much that doesn't make it look like a copy of better movies. Yet, still o.k. to watch and better than most comedies that made it to the big screen in recent months.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Allegory on postwar Germany, 17 June 2003

Its comical nature notwithstanding, this movie is of historical interest in its implicit portrayal of the West German society: The men are either crooks or completely inept or imprisoned, so the women have to take over the men's jobs. But once the men return from detention the women have no choice but to resume their traditional role as house wife. Furthermore, you have the mobsters who hope to get away with their committed crimes and dream about spending the rest of their lifes with gardening (Gardening of course being one of the things Himmler wanted the Germans to do in the 'Lebensraum im Osten').

10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Overlooked Jewel, 16 June 2003

Wonderful little road movie cum romantic comedy with some extras that make this movie special. Basically, Vayas con dios is a film about love and temptation. While there may have been better films in recent years, the central scene of this movie is the most beautiful scene I have seen in a long time. Here, all different kinds of love a portrayed in one crucial moment. Spirandelli, an opera director by trade, certainly knows how to stage his actors.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A Must-See for Politicians, 16 June 2003

Dresen manages to show the dilemma of contemporary politics: Wichmann's election campaign confronts him with the problems of society, but this doesn't alter his political views at all. Even when he is speechless by the misery he observes, he does not question his own role. Politics thus remains a game played among candidates, while the electorate takes the role of bored audience or joins in in the most bizarre manner. Wichmann, while devoted to his campaign (and at least to some of his ideas), not only learns to become part of this game, he doesn't even realize the game is flawed. Dresen's directing is brilliant, as he strictly adheres to the "show, don't tell"-rule and refrains from any voice-over commentary.