Reviews written by registered user
|16 reviews in total|
"The Pursuit Of Happiness" is a good based-on-true-story drama. It is
the story of Chris Gardner struggling to make a living and literally
pursuing happiness. Lead actor Will Smith gives a good performance. The
movie succeeds because it never gets cheesy. I was afraid that the
movie might be ruined by the last scene being cheesy but the scene is
not cheesy at all, very well done.
*spoilers to come* "The Pursuit of Happiness" is about the life of Chris Gardner, an intelligent and hard working man. Despite his intelligence he has to really fight himself through life. This is not a movie on poverty, it is a well-narrated biography but looking for answers to questions like "What happens to people who are not as intelligent and persistent as Chris Gardner?" / "What happens with those who try hard and still fail? Are they unable to reach happiness?" / "Can poor people not be happy?" leads you to disagree with part of the movie's premise.
"The Pursuit of Happiness" is far from being a masterpiece. It is predictable, there are numerous differences between the movie and the real life of Chris Gardner, all of which can be considered to be in a way harmful to the movie's authenticity and, as mentioned before, the concept of happiness represented in the movie might be a bit too simple. These are the negative points one can find. On the other hand you will find many, many positive points, such as the performances of the actors (Will Smith in particular) and the good storytelling, that ultimately outweigh the weak points.
Gripping, moving, inspiring drama. A good film...no more no less.
*** 7/10 ****
"(T)Raumschiff Surprise" is sometimes funny, sometimes hilarious but it
is also embarrassingly stupid at times. It has some new jokes but what
I found shocking is that some of the jokes were "borrowed" (from Austin
Powers; Loriot,...). So really you have creative ideas and funny and
original jokes but in the same scene you have old or plagiarized jokes
and gags that are complete misses.
I like Bully and I think he is funny, loved "Der Schuh des Manitu". There was a huge hype around this movie and when I finally saw it I was disappointed as the movie did not deliver. About a year after watching it the first time, I watched it again and I laughed about 5 times and smiled maybe another 10 times. I remember laughing quite a bit the first time I watched it but even back then I found it disappointing.
This movie is not quite as bad as the IMDb-rating (5.4) suggests but way worse than the hype around it makes you believe it is. (Most of the time my ratings for a movie are below the IMDb-average so me rating it the same as the average voter while saying it deserves a higher score is not a contradiction. Hope you can follow.)
** 5.5/10 **
This is the ultimate zombie movie. I watched it in 2006; that is almost
40 years after it was made and this movie still shocked me. It is
disturbing and scary. The basic idea is not new (not even back then)
but this movie is better than all the other zombie films I have seen.
It is a very simple idea but the filmmakers really push the envelope.
It contains shocking scenes, gory scenes, dramatic scenes, great
characterizations and suspense.
NOFLD has a perfect ending. I expected it to end the way it does but that does not give me the feeling that the movie is predictable but rather that it delivered everything I hoped for. I got the ending which I hoped for!
One of the best horror films ever! A must-see!
**** 8/10 ****
"Dead Birds" is one of the most stupid movies I have ever seen. On
Halloween some friends of mine just went to rent a random horror flick,
a blind pick. It turned out to be a very bad idea. We watched the whole
movie, it was not even dead boring but it was entertaining for the
wrong reasons. This movie is more laughable than scary. It contains
almost every horror movie cliché there is (the house where they should
not be at; a thunderstorm; people acting stupidly, people saying "I'll
be back in a minute, I'll go outside real quick" or some stuff like
that before they are killed).
"Dead Birds" does have some scares but they are all cheap: They're walking through a corn field when all the sudden some creature attacks them. You're scared for three seconds at the most. All the other scares; you see them from a mile away.
The characters are not exactly likable. The title...well I don't understand it. Don't know if it has anything to do with the film. The Civil War setting (probably only chosen because the writers did not find another reason why they would not have left the house other than the one they present, which is not possible when setting the movie in the present era), the Civil War setting is about the only original thing about this movie that copies from almost every once original horror flick.
The movie starts out like a gory western and then turns into a slow horror flick. There is not a single good idea. In the ending scene, there are two decent turns.---Spoilers begin (not really much to spoil though): When running through a corn field as they want to leave the house. One of the two people who are still alive accidentally shoots the other (his girlfriend) as he mistakes her for one of these weird creatures. This does not happen to unexpectedly though. Reminded me somewhat of the "The Night of The Living Dead" ending. The other turn at the end implies that the story repeats itself over and over again (Reminded me a lot of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") as a new group roams the corn field and is attacked by the only surviver who has meanwhile turned into a monster. He did so because of some curse. I'll just spare you on that. Plain ridiculous.
If you don't know what movie to rent and risk a blind pick and happen to end up with this one...true horror.
* 2/10 *
"Cape Fear" is a suspenseful movie with a good set-up: Max Cady (Robert
de Niro) has just been released from jail after doing time (14 years)
for rape/sexual assault. He leaves prison with a vengeance. He wants
his defense counselor Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) to "learn about loss."
Bowden did not defend him as good as he could have. He held back some
evidence that might have lowered the punishment of his client because
he saw what Cady did to the victim and wanted him to pay for it.
The movie is always interesting and suspenseful. It even raises political questions and makes you think about law and justice.
Robert de Niro is one of my favorite actors if not my favorite. I think he gave a good performance once again. The scene in which he is on the phone talking to the girl while he is hanging from the ceiling doing some work out; the look on his face is ultimately disturbing. "Cape Fear" overall is very disturbing. I like those movies and I like "Cape Fear" but I find it to be flawed. The dialogs and the actions of the characters are over the top. Cady always says things about God and Hell and he preaches; I already thought that this was overdone in "The Night Of The Hunter" to which this is a reference. We get it, Cady; you don't need to tell us about God in every sentence.
Suspenseful but flawed thriller.
*** 7.0/10 ****
I watched "The African Queen" after I read it was on the Top 250. I
have never been so disappointed by a movie off the Top 250-list before.
The plot is totally unbelievable and predictable. I know it is based on a true story (very loosely I assume) but the script is just awful. It seems really unrealistic.
The love story is highly unbelievable and cheesy. The action sequences are horribly dated. I know that this movie is from the 50's but the "special effects" are hilariously bad. Catherine Hepburn's character is annoying from the first second on. Whatever she says (example: "Mister Allnut?!"; she says that at the beginning of every sentence...just annoying and stupid since there was no other person than him on the boat) or does (e.g.: with the booze). She plays one of the least likable characters in the history of cinema. The idea she comes up with, which is the idea of the whole movie, wow, just plain ridiculous. This movie sucks big time.
Uninteresting movie about a man and a woman, both without metabolism, going on a boat trip to attack a battleship with their small boat.
* 4/10 *
"As Good As It Gets" does not take the standard romance/comedy approach
as it is almost a drama; very thoughtful and puts value on developed
characterization. However, it occasionally drops down to the standard
romance/comedy level. It is flawed by clichés and some cheesy and
kitschy scenes. Parts of the movie are very funny (favorite line is
when Melvin introduces Carol to Simon: "Carol the waitress, Simon the
fag") and Jack Nicholson's performance is great.
It's a good comedy and is worth watching. The IMDb-rating is a bit too high. If you expect to watch a movie that deserves a score of almost 8, you might be disappointed. If you expect a standard chick flick this movie will surprise you in a positive way.
Better than standard comedy/romance --- funny!
*** 6.0/10 ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Wut" (translates to "anger") is a much debated German made-for-TV
movie. It is about a juvenile Turkish second-generation immigrant named
Can who pushes around Felix, a German boy his age to whom Can sells
dope. The movie is set in Berlin, Germany.
Felix' parents feel that something is wrong and eventually find out that he is being bullied by Can. The situation gets more and more out of hands as the Turkish boy and Felix' father develop a mutual and violent hatred. Can terrorizes the family; he deliberately damages their property. The father reacts by having a friend beat the crap out of Can. While the situation between the two escalates, Felix and Can become something like friends.
As the father finds out that Can is selling drugs to Felix, he denounces Can. Can who is now running from the police and faces jail wants to take revenge on the family, the father in particular. Can thinks that Felix' father does not have pride and honor; that he is a wimp and not a real man but someone who has to ask for help and cannot protect his family himself. Can breaks into the family's house and threatens to kill them. He tells them about pride and honor; him preaching to them is not very realistic (the rest of the movie is shockingly realistic) but the scene is suspenseful and has a political message.
"Wut" is a bold and honest movie. Showing a Turkish boy as the bad guy in a German movie was a taboo. Felix states in the movie that German's have a "Hitler complex". That means that they put up with everything done to them by people from other countries or races because they fear to be regarded as Nazis or racists. Therein lies a problem in German society because people are uncomfortable talking about problems which immigration brings along (only the right-wing extremist parties do; everyone else feels they need to add "But I am not a Nazi" every time he or she says something negative about immigrants).
Bullies like Can exist; and for a fact they are often Turkish immigrants. The movie is bold as it says what most Germans think but don't dare to say; not meant here is that Turkish people are criminals but that there are problems integrating them into society. As shown in the movie, Germans and Turkish people often live in very different milieus. There is great inequality which is the main reason for Turkish adolescents to be more likely to become criminal than Germans of the same age. Turkish people do the jobs that Germans don't want to do and even though they officially are socially accepted unofficially many people see them as 'the Turks' rather than an integrated part of society. The movie criticizes both sides but its main purpose is not to criticize but to make people think.
And the movie is thought-provoking. The German rating is 12; the American would go something like: Rated R for violence, language and drug content. But everything shown in this movie (except of the ending maybe) happens in real life...all the time; many young people experience crime every day. The movie was planned to be broadcast at 8pm but then removed and shown at a later hour because the content was found to be inappropriate for young people. I have to disagree with that decision which was widely criticized as the movie's topic is especially important to young people (12+).
The implied message of the movie is that if a society stays passive for too long (as Felix does) and does not react in time to the problems of integration and immigration, it will have a fatal ending. You may disagree with the movie but the movie makes you think about the political problems discussed and forces you to form an opinion.
Felix' parents are described as liberal and open-minded (Most viewers would describe themselves that way too). The father occasionally smokes pot, both parents have extramarital affairs and try hard not to be conservative or square. The sub-plot concerning their affairs is interesting but weaker than and not relevant for the main story. It is, however, interesting to see the change which the father undergoes throughout the course of the movie. At the beginning he is all about political correctness but later on he has to find out that he is not free of racism. He tells Can "to get his Turkish ass out of the room." It's not really a bad insult but it is aimed at Can's origin. As the father undergoes that change, the viewer's believes are also tested.
The movie is not racist. It does not say that all Turkish people are pushers and bullies. It is in fact directed by a Turk (don't know if he is also half German). The director says that it must to be allowed to make a movie about the downside of immigration and call a spade a spade (looked that expression up in the dictionary hope it exists; means s.th. like being honest).
There really are areas in Berlin and in other cities in Germany (and everywhere else in the world) where the events described in the movie are common. For many people that might be hard to admit and an open mind is needed when watching this movie. If you are open-minded you will like the movie. You may not agree with every point the movie makes but this suspenseful and dramatic movie will make you think about the problems of integration.
**** 7.5/10 ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Deep End" is a psychological thriller about a kid, Beau, who
apparently killed his boyfriend (Reese) and about his caring mother
Margaret covering up the deed. Margaret, who lives with his son and her
other kids in a house on Tahoe lake, wanted Reese to stay away from his
son. After Margaret heard the boys fight earlier on, she finds the dead
body and without ever talking to Beau about it, she disposes the body
in broad daylight using her boat's anchor to weigh the body down in the
water. She wants to protect her son. Many reviewers complained about
the fact that she should have at least spoke to Beau about it but I
find this not unrealistic and like this use of unconditional love. The
movie takes a promising start.
Back to the plot: A few days later a guy (Alek) shows up at their house and blackmails Margaret. He wants her to pay $50.000 and threatens to hand a videotape to the police who have found Reese's body in the meantime. The tape shows Beau and Reese having sex. Maragret tries to somehow get the $50.000.
Now comes the part of the movie that I found really annoying and stupid. She cannot tell her children anything about the blackmail so she has to keep doing her maternal duties while she desperately tries to get the money. Margaret explains to Alex why she does not have the money yet and their dialog is really laughable:
Margaret Hall: We don't have the money. Alek 'Al' Spera: You have to get the money. Is that not clear enough? MH: It's $50,000. It is not the kind of thing that everyone can just go out and get. Alek: Have you spoken with your husband? M: He can't be reached. He's on a carrier somewhere in the nor - This is truly none of your business. Alek: What about the old man? Well, you have to try harder. M: "Try harder?" Alek: I don't think you're really trying. M: Really? Alek: Yes. Margaret Hall: Well, maybe you should explain "really trying" to me, Mr. Spera. Tell me - how would you be "really trying" if you were me? But you're not me, are you? You don't have my petty concerns to clutter your life and keep you from trying. You don't have three kids to feed, or worry about the future of a 17-year-old boy who nearly got himself killed driving back from some kind of a nightclub with his 30-year-old friend sitting drunk in the seat beside him. No, these are not your concerns. I see that. But perhaps you're right, Mr. Spera. Perhaps I could be trying a little harder. Maybe sometime tomorrow between dropping Dylan at baseball practice and picking up my father-in-law from the hospital, I might find a way to try a little harder. Maybe I should take a page from your book: go to the track, find a card game. Maybe I should blackmail someone. Or maybe you have another idea. I mean, maybe you have a better idea of how I might try a little harder to find this $50,000 you've come here to steal from me. Alek: You're right. I'm not you. I don't - This is only a business opportunity. That's all.
Just the typical conversation between blackmailer and the person whom he blackmails. Happens all the time. But Alek turns out to actually be a really nice guy and the two fall in love. Alek does not want his part of the money anymore and tries to convince his boss to give Margaret more time to get the boss' $25.000. This turn is laughably ridiculous.
Him falling for her is really unrealistic. There really is not a lot of tension and the police is underused. They never show up at her house again after they briefly asked if she knew anything about an anchor. She says their boat has no anchor; the cops leave.
In the end, Alek sacrifices himself by driving off a cliff as he is driving with his boss. Magaret who was following the two takes the videotape out of the wrecked car and as she is reaching for it her lips touch Alek's lips. Alek and his boss die.
It turns out that Beau did not know anything about Reese's death which turned out to have been an accident. Beau and Reese had an argument outside Beau's house. Beau told Reese to leave and went back inside before drunken Reese fell into an anchor and died.
Seems like a missed opportunity as the story really has some potential.
** 5.0/10 **
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The famous British mystery author Sarah Mortan seeks inspiration at her
publisher's vacation house in France. The quiet is gone once a person
(Julie) who claims to be the publisher's daughter arrives. The two are
complete opposite and don't get along very well but then Sarah realizes
that Julie is good inspiration for the book she wants to write. Julie
is a party girl whose sex life consists of one-night stands with
middle-aged men. Sarah after a while is not bothered anymore by Julie's
behavior and also "loosens up". The competition of personalities which
had always been between the two women becomes sexual when a local
waiter is involved. After a night of flirting between these three, in
which Julie is ousted by Sarah, Julie murders the waiter and Sarah
suddenly becomes the young girl's only friend and protector and she
helps her dispose the body. As the gardener is about to discover the
dead body, Sarah distracts him by taking off her clothes. The two have
sex. (quite bizarre). Back in London, Sarah meets Julia, the only
daughter of her publisher. Julia is very different from Julie and the
two seem to have met before.
There is one shot that implies that Julie only exists in Sarah's imagination and almost none of the events in the movie actually happened. The events described are the subject of Sarah's next book. The movie misleads the audience and plays with it. The ending is quite smart and interesting, however, the first hour or so is so boring that you don't really care about the ending and might even miss the twist because you don't pay close attention anymore or are already asleep. Plus it is not really relevant if it actually happened or not. Saying: "But none of it actually happened, she made it all up" does not compensate for the lack of suspense. It's not that great of an idea.
Slow erotic thriller/drama that did not live up to what it could have been.
*** 6.0/10 **
|Page 1 of 2:|| |