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Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)
Not that kind of shop
When someone first told me about this movie/title I had a smile on my face. I was quick to make a fun remark, just to be told I didn't understand the title correctly. "Pawn Shop" might sound like something that only adults are allowed to buy items/movies from. But obviously this is a different beast, so be careful how you pronounce it. Or have fun with anyone who misunderstands it like myself.
The movie itself has hits and misses. I mostly liked what it tried to do (especially when it tried to connect the stories a little bit). There is different genres to be found here, but every short segment does have some humor in it. The actors make it worth your while and the ideas are mostly out there. Casting (the recently deceased) Paul Walker as a slacker is genius. And he really plays it as good as it gets. Nice little collection of movies, that should be a fun watch for most people
The Tiger's Tail (2006)
Brendan Gleeson might be one of the most underrated actors in the public eye. I didn't know anything about this movie when I rented it to watch it, so I had no idea who the director is. Reading it now, it makes sense. The movie is really skillfully done, the performances are great and even when you think you know where this is going, it might still be able to surprise you.
There were a few moments where you think "well he could say this or do that" to prove a point. But that is not what the movie is trying to tell you/do. The movie cares about the characters, but even more about society and how we ourselves play a role. A role that might not even befit us, but under normal circumstances we would never change ourselves. Why should we, we are happy as it is, aren't we? These questions and a lot more are being transported via a mystery story, that really has some punches for the viewer. I also really liked where this went at the end, but that is up for discussion ... Watch it and I'm sure most of you won't find this boring at all
Welcome to the Jungle (2013)
Let's put van Damme in the Jungle, pair him with Adam Brody and some other comedians and see what happens. That seems to be the motto of the movie. But while that might not sound that appealing, I thought it worked. Not always, see also some of the awkward lines van Damme has to deliver, but often enough.
The movie is more than predictable, you can outright guess when what is coming and who will be getting what (or whom). But that is not the point. And while there is a journey, it's the isolation of the Jungle and the characters (used to work in offices), that make this movie funny. Is there potential for more? Sure! But that doesn't mean this is a bad movie. It's just a inferior one to what some might have expected ... still funny though
Angels and Demons
Gerard Depardieu is always worth watching. Even (or maybe especially) if the character he is portraying has many flaws and faults. Being a cop and having to work with an (unlikely) partner just adds to the whole thing. Both lone wolfs have to overcome their fears and their ego to work together. It's not that original to pair two guys like that, but both of them make it work.
The mystery element (there is a reason this "sounds" a bit church-like) is more welcome and delivers, while not pitch perfect at least on a very good note. I won't go into details (many things will be obvious and foreseeable), but you might have fun watching this good versus evil game ... especially, when sometimes its not clear who is what
Au nom du fils (2012)
This might not be your cup of tea if you are religious and not able to stand people making fun of things (your belief being one of them). The movie itself is very dark, but is very funny too. The church has come under a lot of scrutiny for a couple of reasons. One of them gets explored here with a lot of gusto and a sense for the darkest humor you can imagine.
While it still is a drama, the movie could also pass as a comedy then. The child actor portraying the main character (besides the priest and the mother) is really good and the stabs at the church all feel justified. One can learn from ones mistakes and one should. The movie is not saying that church is completely bad, it is saying that going overboard always will end in a disaster (one way or another) ... and it does deliver us from being earnest about it ...
Maybe back then you couldn't tell what would become of Jonah Hill eventually (an Oscar nominated actor, playing with/against Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio) ... actually if you told anyone back then this would happen, they'd have written that in the script, because it would have sounded hilarious.
Speaking of hilarious: That's something that can be said about this movie. Of course many will start comparing this with American Pie, Porkys and what not. But the movie stands on its own two feet and has been copied a lot itself. Never to that success and never as good as "Superbad" obviously. If you like your teen comedies to be raunchy and dirty, this is exactly your cup of tea. After watching this, you might also be McLovin (this) ... no relation to any Fast Food chain by the way ...
The To Do List (2013)
Pretty raw and funny
I didn't expect this to be so rude and "offensive" and some might argue that it tries a bit too hard (no pun intended). But the character Audrey Plaza plays is well defined! Add to that a really stellar support cast (Rachel Bilson, Bill Hader and Agent Coulson ... ah well the actor who became famous playing that "Avenger" crew member that is of course ;) ) and you have a really fine movie here.
The jokes might not all hit the spot (and other things miss the spot too, if you catch my drift), but it is overall a satisfying experience, if you have the stamina to go through it all (like a list that is very prominent in this movie). But enough of my puns, if you like your comedy to be rude and don't have problems to talk about sex, you might wanna watch this
Dark Touch (2013)
Do not touch
I watched this at the Fantasy Film Festival in Stuttgart and the director was attending. I stayed through the movie (which was not easy at all) and was curious to see what the director had to say. Unfortunately (but somehow to be expected) she only confirmed what I already knew. It's unfortunate for the child actors, if they have to go through an (bad acting) experience like this.
On the other hand, as others have already stated here, there is not much acting going on in the whole movie. The clichés and the bad lines follow each other hand in hand. It is offensive to its own characters and to the viewers nerves and stomach. Yes horror movies have people do stupid things, but denying yourself (and the audience) even what you saw with your own eyes goes too far. A shame, because underneath it all, there is a Carrie like vibe, that could've been a really good movie ...
Europa Report (2013)
United colors of Austronauts assemble
Some of the actors here may not be on their home turf (Daniel Wu being a major star in China, plays in a smaller movie here, than he is used to back home). But everyone brings their best game on screen. You may be able to anticipate a few things and the setting with "Found Footage" (or "Send/Space Footage") may not be your favorite one, but this movie still works more than nicely.
There is tension and there is a story line that involves flashbacks and the "right now". It's not confusing though you may say that one twist is more than foreseeable due to the flashbacks. But still, when it comes it does hit the mark and you feel with the crew. With the (self proclaimed) genre, you know where it is going anyway. So the "foreplay" might go on for too long for some, but is necessary in my eyes to establish a relationship with the characters. Otherwise you wouldn't care for them ...
Song for Marion (2012)
Putting a stamp on it
Terrence Stamp can do small and quiet. That might surprise some people, but he has proved in other movies, that he doesn't have to be the character he is in real life too. Gemma has to walk a very fine line. She's in a movie where not much about her is revealed (except her will and endurance to make old folks happy), but has to make that little work and believable. She also succeeds as does Marion, the woman this is all about.
Obviously there is more here than meets the eye (or ear for that matter). Terrence is not only walking in a shell, you feel that shell. But it makes watching him come out of that shell even better. With a movie like this there is not much you can spoil. It moves along the lines you expect it to. But it's an experience that is worth having