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Horst_In_Translation

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The level has decreased, 28 June 2017
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"22 Jump Street" is an American 110-minute movie from 2014, so two more years only and this one has its 5th anniversary already. It is of course the sequel to 21 Jump Street and Jonah Hill as well as Channing Tatum reprise their roles here. The number of writers and directors who worked on this one here, but eventually we have a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. I liked the first film more than this one here. This may also have to do with my general dislike for 2-time Oscar nominee (still hurts to say that) Jonah Hill, who is an incredibly untalented actor in my opinion. I like Channing Tatum more, but not to a level where I would say he is one of my favorites. Other than these, i was familiar with Offerman, Stormare and Ice Cube I believe. But they did not really have that much to work with anyway. Eventually, it is all about Hill (and Tatum). The plot occasionally reminded me of the first film when it is about the struggles in their friendship. But of course there were also major differences, for example in whom to consider the main antagonists. Unfortunately, I must admit that the "villains" if you may want to call them like that were not really that impressive or memorable in my opinion. And also there was not one performance at all where I would say this one really stood out. i am a bit baffled to see that most people really liked this sequel and enjoyed it as much as (or almost as much as) the first film. I mean the first film with Jonah hill of course. The Johnny Depp approach is once again something entirely different. Anyway, as a whole I would recommend this work really only to those who adore either of the two lead actors (and probably did not see Hill's acting here as really cringeworthy at times) or really really loved the first film (more than me who "only" liked it. I think there were too many lengths in here for me to recommend it and it may have been better at 90 minutes runtime with better focus. Watch something else instead.

Smart Alec (1951)
Dubious circumstances and a very forgettable outcome, 28 June 2017
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Smart Alec" is an American black-and-white film from 1951, so this one is already over 65 years old. The only cast listed for this one is actress Candy Barr, or performer would be a better description. This is hardcore adult and it is one of the early films here on IMDb from this genre, but definitely not one of the earliest as there is even some stuff from the 1910s I see. Anyway, back to Barr, she was only 15 or 16 when this was made and I don't think there is the need to elaborate on the production backgrounds. Her age says it all. I also don't want to elaborate on her later connection to Jack Ruby, lets just stay with the picture here. it runs for slightly under 10 minutes and it is really uncommon to see a silent film from the 1950s as the days of movies without sound seemed long gone by then. So this is a film that stands out for all kinds of reasons, but these are obviously the wrong reasons. As for the story, it is really forgettable. Two people have sex for almost the entire film and eventually they are joined by another woman at the very end. Nothing one needs to see really, not even if you are looking for porn. i suggest you stay away from this incredibly weak and despicable movie.

One of the weaker entries again, 28 June 2017
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 4" is as the title already says the 4th installment of the DHMIS series and at 5 minutes it is longer than the first and second entry, but one minute shorter than the third. However, it is also at least worse than 1 and 3 as having seen 4 DHMIS entries to the series before this one, I must say that it is among the weakest for sure. This trip into the animated world of illustrating computers and technical progress is once again a spoof of regular television programs, but it not working in terms of comedy at all. It is only working from the weirdness perspective and if that's their goal, then they succeeded. in terms of creativity or quality filmmaking, they really came short and to me this is evidence that the series should have ended a while ago instead still having new episodes come out these days. Pelling and Sloan are the ones who made it just like with all the others. I personally give it a major thumbs-down and suggest you stay away if you aren't among the millions of people who have already seen it. Highly overrated here on IMDb.

Good take on romance and sadness (and comedy eventually), 28 June 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Interior Cafe Night" is an Indian movie from 2014 that has been seen by millions of people since then and the film's title is the location where it takes place. It runs for 13 minutes and was written and directed by Adhiraj Bose and if you aren't fluent in Hindi, make sure you get a good set of subtitles. I am not familiar enough with Indian cinema to say how well-known the actors in here are, but I think they all did a good job overall. It is the story of two couples, a young couple about to break up because the woman has to move far away, and an old couple reunited after many years, decades probably even. The plot twist with them being the same people at different stages in their lives can be guessed easily admittedly, maybe a bit too easily for the film to really make the touching impact it attempts to make. But it was still a decent watch that I enjoyed during pretty much all stages of its presentation. There was not one best moment or best performance or best aspect I would say, but there are also no major weaknesses here. It is a success that delivers in terms of several genres. I think you may want to see it, especially if you love Indian movies. Thumbs-up.

Deafness is a world, 28 June 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Thursday's Children" is a British black-and-white documentary movie from 1954, so this one is already easily over 60 years old. It was written and directed by Guy Brenton and Palme d'Or winner Lindsay Anderson. And as this one went on to take home the Oscar (even if neither of the two is credited with an Oscar win), it is probably still their biggest triumph in the industry. This is a 22-minute film about deaf children at a school in England. There it is the teachers task to help the children have a connection with the world despite not being able to hear and of its sounds. The audiences gets a specific insight into the learning process and how the (really young) kids improve on their lip-reading skills. But there are also other references, for example how one boy is deaf since an illness at the age of 3 or others are dead since birth and have never heard a single sound on the planet.

There is something pure and innocent to these kids I must say. I think this documentary is also such a success because it takes us into a world where we honestly just will never be a part of in your lives. It is impossible for a hearing person to know what it feels like to live in silence. Narrator Richard Burton made a nice reference at the end about them never being able to hear music and that's something really sad that makes me question my initial thoughts about how sometimes it maybe isn't the worst thing not to have to hear all the noise in this world. There is also another really nice reference from Burton about how these teachers offer the children an opportunity in this world that keeps them from ending up in silent loneliness. And finally, I talked earlier about us not being a part of their world, there is another good quote about the lack of patience these kids will have to deal with in their future lives when it comes to hearing people. The final words of this documentary were really special and touching at the same time. I believe this is a very smart documentary. Burton mentions the kids by name, so it is easier for us to make a connection with them. They let the audience be a part of this as they remove sound and we just see the teacher move his lips, so we find out how the deaf children perceive her. Absolutely nothing wrong with this little movie and one of the best short films from the 1950s I'm sure. This one is evidence of how this era had to offer more besides brilliant cartoons. It's nice to see it got the recognition from the Academy. Don't miss out on this one because even if the production values may look dated by our standards in (documentary) filmmaking today, it is especially important because deafness is timeless and exists today as it has back then. Go see it.

Bear with me please, 28 June 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"A Bear for Punishment" is a Warner Bros cartoon from 1951 (had its 65th anniversary last year) and if you hear the name of this company associated with the Golden Age of Animation, then the likes of Saffy, Porky and Bugs of course are what come to mind first I am sure. But there is also the Bear Family and this is the last of a series of cartoons starring Pa Bear, Ma Bear and their son. I thought this was a decent watch. It is funny right away hen we see the differences in size that Father Bear is considerably smaller than his son, and even slightly smaller than his wife. The focus in this quick comedy is on Father's Day and Pa Bear has to go through all kinds of stuff he really doesn't like, even if at times it does not become clear 100% why. Of course being thrown into a bucket of flour is nothing nice, but why was he so mad during the music show. Anyway, it was still well done overall I guess. The first half is about the comedy, the second is about music and political references even, also all comedic surely. The political references are no surprise as WB made statements before already, especially during the days of World War II. Overall, you can see that some of Warner Bros finest worked on this film, behind the camera as well as in front of it (including Bear Benaderet, oh yes I did!). Watch it if you like cartoons and I am positive you will like it as much as I did.

Not among the series' worst, but that doesn't mean it was a good watch, 28 June 2017
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3" is as the title already suggests the third installment of the DHMIS animated short film series and this one is from October 2014, so it is not that old actually. Pelling and Sloan from Britain made it just like the other entries to this series that still goes on today. And they also did some of the voice acting. This third film is longer than the previous two, actually almost as long as these two taken together. In terms of the quality, I think this is the forth of these films I have seen and 2 were really really bad and one was weak and this one here joins the weak category I would say. It is once again a dark spoof of animated children's television and it deals with the subjects of love, loneliness and also a gravel eating monster. A deity? I am not sure. Anyway, the entire thing is spiced up with music that can only be categorized as creepy. I can see some creativity in here, but honestly not too much. Not to a degree where I would recommend the watch. The only reason why I am not entirely negative here is because some films from the series (think 2 and 6) are definitely worse. But number 3 gets a thumbs-down nonetheless, despite the millions of views on Youtube. Don't watch.

Desserts (1999)
Of men and fish, 28 June 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Desserts" is a British movie from 1999, so two more years until this one has its 5th anniversary. The writer and director is Jeff Stark and this is one of two films he made together with famous actor Ewan McGregor, who also had his huge breakthrough in 1999 when he played Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. But back to this film here. According to IMDb, it is five minutes long, but the action without credits stays even under the 3-minute mark. It is basically a metaphoric story on fishing only that the tables are turned between men and fish. An interesting parallel I must say, especially for a vegetarian like me, because it shows how gruesome it is and I am talking about the mere process of catching fish. But damn that little pie (we call it éclair) here in Germany looked extremely delicious. It is a good story for 2.5 minutes, nothing truly deep or memorable and the build-up felt a bit long for me almost. But the ending is rewarding. Good job. And with ideas like these it is a bit of a shame Stark did not turn into a more prolific filmmaker afterward. I recommend "Desserts". Go see it.

Definitely more than a cheap copy of Bond, 28 June 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Kommissar X - In den Klauen des goldenen Drachen" is a co-production of no less than four countries that results in this 90-minute movie from 1966, which means the film had its 50th anniversary last year. The director is Italian Gianfranco Parolini (still alive today approaching 90) and he is also one of the people who worked on the script for this movie. If you hear his name and the name of lead actor Tony Kendall, who plays the title character, then maybe you already guess correctly that this is another Jo Louis Walker film. One of many actually. And it would certainly not be wrong to call these the German approach to the (back then) quickly rising and highly popular James Bond franchise. Just like with Bond, there are political references here (Cold War), there are sinister power-hungry villains, there are extremely attractive women, some good some bad, and then there is a secret agent in the center of it who is luckily skilled enough to stay alive all the time despite all kinds of people trying to murder him. And of course Bond also travels the world and this film takes place entirely in Asia. Singapore is fittingly also one of the production countries.

This is the second Kommissar X film I have seen. The very first one I was not too big about, but this one here about a filter that can turn a laser beam into a death ray way genuinely enjoyable and probably closer to a ****/***** than to a **/*****. One memorable scene after the next. The one on the boat with the guy(s) shooting at Walker (yes I almost wrote Bond), the one with the spiked ceiling moving towards Walker and his partner. Oh yeah, this is one major difference to Bond. At times, in this film here, it feels as if there are really two lead actors, a dark-haired one and one with lighter hair, so you can make your pick ladies which one you want to be rescued by. Okay the acting is not always great and sometimes the plot gets a bit too gimmicky (even if I like that sometimes too), but all in all this was actually convincing watch and not only the lead actors are at least as attractive physically as Connery, Moore and Lazenby I guess, but some of the scenes feel as if they are right out of Bond movies and as somebody who really loves the 007 franchise, this is definitely a seal of approval. I recommend this movie that is also known as "Agent Joe Walker: Operation Far East" or "So Darling, So Deadly". Criminally underseen for sure.

Freispiel (1995)
The everyday struggles of Mr. Brenneis, 28 June 2017
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Freispiel" or "Free Game" is an Austrian 90-minute movie from 1995, so this one is already over 20 years old and this is one of director Harald Sicheritz' early, but not earliest, career efforts. He was also in charge of the script and that one is actually a co-effort between him and lead actor Alfred Dorfer. these two collaborated on many occasions actually. Here we have the story of a disillusioned music teacher who dreams of having an actual musical career, but there prove to be so many obstacles in his way on the road to fame.First of all, he is really annoyed with his students usually who do not seem to possess the slightest musical talent despite apparently thinking otherwise. Then there are occasional struggles with his wife as well as with women in general. And those people in positions where they could help him with his dream also prove to be really annoying. Remember the quote where one guy asks him what he does and he responds that he teaches music and then the other guy says something like well somebody has to do it. Anyway, in my opinion the negative was more frequent than the positive here. Or maybe lets say the forgettable was more frequent than the memorable as I was never really impressed with the story here. It is a comedy according to IMDb, but there are also more than just a few dramatic references and scenes in here. Overall, the fact that I did not end up enjoying this one too much has probably to do with the fact that script as well as performances are nothing really that stays too much in the mind I guess. But there is also a subjective component to it I am sure as in terms of most known Austrian actors I have always been more of a Hader guy and not a Dorfer guy. Other known names here include Düringer (always like him) and Böck. Utimately, I give this film a thumbs-down, even if here and there it has a solid scene and it is by no means a failure. If you like Austrian cinema (from the 90s), then you can still check it out I guess and you won't be majorly disappointed. Lets see if you share my opinion that the second half of this movie was weaker than the first. And one final note: Maybe get subtitles, even if you are German as the thick Austrian accents make it difficult at times to understand.


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