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Die Blumen von gestern (2016)
Beginning is the "end"
I'm not German, I don't know much about the Holocaust or German national politics, but I do love a romance and I love unique movies. I've seen enough turkeys to appreciate what is a lovely movie. Adèle Haenel and Lars Eidinger are its heart with enough genuine, good supporting cast to make this a very enjoyable outing. And though I did spoil for myself some of the plot points by peeking at a few of the user reviews before watching this movie, I want to point out something I haven't seen anyone make a comment on: When you're done with the movie, please remember the very first scene of the movie where we met Lar's character Totila. I won't make this a spoiler but please realize the editors put the very last moments of this movie in the beginning. So unless you link those two scenes in your mind, you might miss an important link between characters. I would personally like to believe the story would be continued with an entirely new movie after this one ends. I myself replayed the beginning scene over again afterwards. That's the true difference between a mediocre movie and the really enjoyable ones for me -- The fact I could imagine a whole new story beginning where this one leaves off.
That's it. Hope it helps.
Rocambola provides a solid thrill ride. Loved the opening overhead shots. Great small cast. Juan Diego Botto was effectively scary. Loved the character of the house it's set in. So many odd creepy little cubbyholes there.
If something about this new movie draws you in, don't be put off by the low view count or Spanish-only critic reviews. That's why this is here -- to encourage the English-speaking that this is a good movie, even if scary tales aren't your go-to, like me. Loved the way it finishes too!
December Bride (1990)
Soulful Irish Film
December bride is a lovely film unhurried but deeply felt, in no small part due to the soundtrack by Jürgen Knieper, who evidently enjoyed a long relationship with many directors, especially Wim a Wenders, having composed on seven of his movies.
This movie is also remarkable for the fact it is Saskia Reeves cinema film acting debut. She is enigmatic and enchanting as the liberated early 20th-century Irish lass. In movies from 1991, this was certainly not the norm and all the more refreshing.
December Bride is also only the third theater movie in which Ciarán Hinds appears. He is also remarkable in appearance and presence.
Its director, Thaddeus Sullivan, had directed one previous theater movie, this being the second movie. All of this just to say, this is a movie I can recommend as an unusual scenic love story.
The Mistress (2012)
Cruz Compelling But Message Off
John Lloyd Cruz is a compelling actor and makes me want to check out other of his movies. But honestly, I tire of these moral-heavy tales. Could have been a simple "let's work this out /all in the family" mixups. But instead, a heavy line is laid down that, once again, Women can't "have it all." They are always the ones to bear weight of any sins or guilt. She's the one who gets the scarlet letter of harlot for loving a married man and trying to live a decent life. She gets shamed publicly and told to bear her punishment due. She is no less responsible than any man in a love relationship. The fact that they fell in love should have been acknowledged by their friends and especially families. As written, they are expected to do their Duty and deny themselves for the rest of their lives for the sake of ... Who? Family, Society, Country?? Evidently, the only allowed to Imagine their happiness together. In my book, that is a road TOO far to self-sacrifice.
Hidden Moon (2012)
If You're A Sap for Romances...yes but otherwise
I'm a general fan of Wes Bentley and that's how I found this movie on Prime. Even though it's supposed to be subtitled, 99% of the Spanish spoken was not translated. So I'm reviewing half of the movie here. Thanks Prime or whoever. The subtitling showed up but was only to subtitle the already English dialog. Just a warning for English speakers.
Regarding the movie, it sounded promising and had some interesting plot points. But honestly the writing seemed overall tired and characters flat and uninteresting, especially the "bad" brother. I'd only recommend this if you love ALL romances no matter how bad, or want to see Wes at work (and shirtless) and think his one sex scene might be worth 2 hours of your time.
Waste of Time If You Don't Speak Dutch
Imagine watching an entire movie while muting the sound. Or watching a gorgeous color 3-D movie in black-and-white. That was the experience of watching "Taped." Although subtitling was enabled, all that was translated were the few English phrases. The rest came out as "speaking foreign language." I could see Barry Atsma was acting his heart out but it was lost on me as there was no context provided. If you're still Determined to watch it, do yourself a favor and fast forward, watch the murder, chase, capture and the finale. Without translation, the rest is a waste of time for the English part of the world.
Look, Stranger (2010)
Fascinating but baffling
Kudos for minimalistic dialogue. The scenery and action certainly kept me fascinated and hooked enough to stick with the characters' story. But, in the end, I needed more there there to believe I had a completely satisfying experience viewing this movie. I expected some sort of point to be reached or be made about what I was seeing. I was never really sure what sort of conflict was happening. What was the man's role in the conflict and why did he feel ultimately trapped. What were they carrying or smuggling? Who ended up with the bag in the end and how did this affect our characters?
I did love the patient melting of his icy demeanor as they tromp together cross-country. In fact, right after the child is shot, we see the man has relented to carrying the heavy cargo. A pivotal point is an implied off-scene rape. But I found the woman's after-reaction unconvincing, which destroys the drama of the moment when her companion discovers her. All we see is a crumpled skirt; she appears otherwise fine. Histrionics I abhor but come on -- this was WAY underplayed to the point I wasn't even clear anything horrible had happened.
In the end, the main woman character (who is never named except called "the mule") says "who's there" and the movie ends. What was that? And was her child a hallucination or real? If this is truly a first effort for writer/director, really WOW and I hope I'll see more, but hopefully something less abstract. I do recommend for the acting and atmosphere but just be warned you not like the finale.
I found this movie enticing and enjoyable for its mystery, the appeal of the story of a desperate woman on the run chased by an unknown, possibly threatening man, doing desperate things to stay ahead of him. It slowly unravels she is driven by an unknown sadness, seemingly accompanied by her daughter whom she seems driven to protect, but from who or what? The theme of drowning is in play here also. She appears to drown herself in sexual activity, or submitting to the sexual demands of a corrupt cop who also begins to pursue her. Ultimately, the movie concludes in the right spot for me, allowing us to glimpse the parents' tragedy which created this chaos. The acting was uniformly very effective, especially the woman and her child. This movie is a winner if you are patient and allow it time.
Cowboy Dave (2017)
Sweet and brutal
I felt sorry for this sweet little short without any reviews. I love quirky British films and this one fits, even though it includes unfortunately a hatchet murder (yes). Honestly, the ending touched me when the young boy returns to return the money he stole. Yes, it drew a tear. So, I do recommend this short for those similarly twisted souls who can stand the brutal part (nothing other than a drop of blood is shown though, really not too graphic, especially today).
Sucker Punch (2008)
Blink and miss HARDY
Despite my modest expectations for Hardy to appear as one of the opposing boxers, this is not the case. In fact,
Tom Hardy seems to appear only very briefly in one scene as car mechanic "Rodder" (who says "Pop the hood"). If you are his fan, do not watch unless just to fast forward to that scene.
The Impressionists (2006)
Armitage missing in action
This is most certainly NOT a drama but a documentary about some impressionists. Nowhere did I see any of the actors listed. Instead we are lectured at by a boring host. If this isn't your cup of tea, don't waste your time.
Star-packed tribute concert with EmmyLou Harris. Other than the handful of stars I recognized by sight, there was no attempt to identify from the stage or by screen titles each star as they took their turns on stage.
Crime story, cyber detection, accidental romance, unsolvable Rubik's cube TV drama, finally now tragedy? Guess it doesn't matter because in the end this show means nothing. It's diverting for an hour if you want to suspend your brain and watch pretty people going through their paces. But what is really the point? ... Oh, it's context for the endless boring network commercials. Honestly I am into escapism but this really even is a road too far for me, a Sullivan Stapleton fan girl. Honestly, give me "Strike Back" ANY DAY over this pablum.
Jack Irish: Episode #1.1 (2016)
Would probably enjoy this series (in the U.S.) if it had subtitles. Can understand about half of the dialogue. Shame.
Sharp Objects: Milk (2018)
Consistently great acting, very intriguing serial murder mystery, and compelling production. Nonetheless, after almost every episode, I felt as if the clues were stingy, leaving me with a feeling of frustration each time. Camille was a newspaper reporter but exactly how much did she illuminate her story for us? Why did she cut herself? Why did she drink so much? The crime was solved, or was it? News reports now suggest some involved in this production are hoping for a second season; and the ending made me wonder ... is this an ending, or just a convenient jumping-off spot to drag this out for another year? Not sure I'd watch unless they make some changes.
Penny Wisdom (1937)
Worth A Watch!
The plot involves the hubby inviting the boss home for supper and notifying the wifey only about 2 hours before said supper. She attempts to produce a worthy meal but fails. The evening is saved when a favor is called in and the husband beams with pride, none the wiser about the culinary disaster she created behind the kitchen door.
This movie pays off in this one unforgettable scene--when the hapless housewife douses the family dog, a black cocker spaniel, in spilled flour. She then tries to wash it clean in the kitchen sink and ... Well, I won't spoil this wonderful visual joke.
While other Pete Smith shorts I've found to be rather infantile in content and humor level, such as Dogs 'N Ducks and You Can't Win, this gem, Penny Wisdom (1937) had many charming qualities.
A Royal Christmas (2014)
In the first two minutes of the movie, there were two product placements: One for a big box store, and the other for a coffee product. I was confused; where we still in commercial break? No in fact, this is how Hallmark chooses to finance their predictable and pedestrian pablum.
It is sad knowing the name Hallmark used to stand for high-quality, family fare. Unfortunately, they choose to produce films only children can enjoy. If you are older than five years old, don't bother.
The one thing I did enjoy it was the palace most of the movie was set in.