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Not quite as fresh as the predecessor, but still a funny series entry!
22 February 2006
After the gigantic success of the first "otto" movie, fans had to wait for nearly years, before the next of the series was ready. It was not as fresh as the first feature, but the concept was the same, even if the script department had obviously several problems to remain on the high joke level. The concept was the same: Otto, the chaotic young man from east frisia owes a lot of rent, so he has to work for the owner of his apparment house. He loses his heart to a young girl on the fourth floor, not realising, that the owners daughter is seriously in love to hin. But the girl of his dreams only loves "Amboss", a dumb "Arnie"-Clone. So Otto has to do a lot of dirty work, tries to win Gabi Droesels heart, must keep the depressive cat of a professor alive and defeats the qualities of Amboss... Once more, the plot is only thin, but around there are many jokes, chaotic scenes, musical interlude, advertising parodies and more. Best bits are surely the song Otto sings in front of the elevator doors, an ice-skating number, the magnificent-seven-misspell-scene. Waalkes pokes fun on a gruesome German pop group (Modern Talking), parodies several Schwarzenegger-like movies (Amboss the controlator), some Levis-Jeans-Spots and a famous ice-cream-commercial. There is further the "When a stranger calls"- gag in new color and the wordplay is sometimes very good. Unfortunately, the film suffers from too much product placement and Otto himself begins to act silly and infantile too often in the movie. But overall and concerning the following three films, this one is funny enough for most of his length.
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This will be his eternal best...
22 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In 1985, people got, for what they were waiting for more than 10 years: Germany's most popular comedian, Otto Waalkes, finished his first feature film, after several stage programs, TV shows and LPs. And even the critics had to admit: it was a very funny film. Okay, you should be German from the Seventies and Eighties to understand this sense of humor, but this mixture of pure slapstick, verbal jokes, absurdities, satirical side gags, visual ideas and Marx-Brothers-like drive is a little bit genius. Written by some of Germany most popular satirical playwrights, is "Otto- Der Film" nothing more than a skeleton of a plot with an endless stream of shorter or longer comedy episodes attached to it. Otto is a young man from East-Frisia (which is in north-western Germany), arriving at hamburg, with no job, no money and no plan. He loans some money from a loan shark and now has to pay back the sum of 9.876,50 deutsche Mark. Whean he steals some cement, he accidentally saves young heiress Sylvia from death and gets in contact with her family, the super-rich "von Kohlen and Reibachs". Already in love with Sylvia, who wants to marry the snob Ernesto, he try to get the money, the woman and everything he wants. In 85 Minutes an endless stream of funny or not-so-funny episodes roll down from the screen and Otto is always the center. His best scenes are definitely the arrival in Hamburg, a visit in the rich family's house, a hunting party for a hare ("dead or not living"), his search for Sylvia's evening dinner in the "Creme de la Creme" which leads him accidentally to the biker joint "Chrome de la Chrome", where he saves the day by knowing right joke answer ("What's invisible and smells like a hare? - A Rabbit's Fart?"), his entry an the evening dinner and the hilarious scene on a cemetery at night (somethat inspired by Michael Jacksons "Thriller" where a heck of "Heinos" (Germanys famous "folk singer" with white hair and dark glasses), coming out of their graves. In other episodes, he sells a slave (an American soldier) to an old woman and then returns and cashes the registry fee or he try to entertain some seniors, which are not amused. A running gag is the sum of DM 9876,50, which turns up every time he don't need it: the hunting trophy's worth, a jewel and finally his lifesavers present: a bottle of old wine. Otto is always silly, and if not, he pretends to be clever (what is silly again), ending in another catastrophe. But nearly 90 Minutes, you can laugh really hard, if you like his style, because his timing is always right this time. Enjoy it - but if you are not German, there will be some difficulties to understand the hilarious wordplay.
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Seven Dwarves (2004)
Okay, it's silly, but I'm still able to feel like a Teenager!
18 November 2004
Okay, I must admit: it IS a very silly movie! But the bigger comedies from Germany are always silly, and „Seven Dwarfs' is no exception. When you compare him to the other two big comedies this year, „Traumschiff Surprise' and „Der Wixxer', you will find the same sense of humor. The question is: do you like this kind of humor? Then go and see the movie, it will be not brilliant (like the other two) but satisfying (like the other two). Like in ZAZ-Movies or simple Gross-Out-Comedies, you better leave your brain outside in the car and enjoy, because it is a fun event to watch this kind of movie. More then a dozen of German comedians in bigger and smaller parts: find them, check them out, notice their comedy routines and feel a little bit like a 12-year-old - the only way it works. It's good to see, that this movie is no typical Otto-Movie, because his last two outings were flat or plain bad. In "7 Dwarfs' his role is thankfully smaller, giving room to his co-stars. Positive to mention are: Punkrock-Icon Nina Hagen as the evil queen (even if you hate her in real life, like me, you have to admit, that her timing is great), Rüdiger Hoffmann with his absurd slow burn humor is perfect as the magic mirror and Martin Schneider as dwarf „Speedy' (who is really slow and very big) is quite perfect. Hans-Werner Olm as the queens dark helper qualifies himself for better rolls (also non-comedic) and the absurdest of German comedians, Helge Schneider, who mixes absurd monologues with a great talent for Jazz in his shows, has a funny moment as Gandalf-Lookalike „The Wise/White Helge'. Not so funny: German Talkmaster Harald Schmidt who plays himself as a candidate for the court jester job, „Traumschiff'-Veteran Christian Tramitz, who has (as the hunter) to deal with a lot of weak lines and Ralf Schmitz, who can't show his talents from TV, because his dwarf „Sunny' is definitely a weak point of the whole movie. And don't think to much about kind of „messages' in the jokes: after films, which should be funny because of racial stereotypes, excessive drinking, puking, crapping, re-animating dogs, eating dog-shit, drinking sperm in beer and f**king apple pies, I don't see a problem in the (absolutely funny)„Hitting-Women'-Joke, when all the male characters are hitting themselves through the whole movie. The Neger/Jaeger-Gag is a cheap joke (and they even repeat him), but everyone, who thinks he has a problem with those lighthearted jokes, must check, if he is not a better visitor for the next Visconti-Retrospective or a Woody-Allen-Festival. Much more charm, then I expected, I don't care for many misses, I had enough hits to laugh about. (7/10)
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