Archive for the ‘2 – Rating’ Category

There’s a new Tarantino movie out!

One friend messages: go see it, it’s great, you’ll love it. 

Another friend messages: didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. it’s slow and doesn’t have a story. but go see it anyways

So… off to the theatre!

And……

Well…..

It’s a cinematic marvel with great shots, brilliant settings, a killer soundtrack and great performances by especially Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there isn’t a story!  For almost three hours long. And it stars Brad Pitt, who still, after all these years, cannot act. At all.

However,

It’s a great trip back to the Hollywood of 1969 when Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski are the it couple and hippies roam the planet. It focuses on an almost has-been actor and his unemployed stunt double. It’s very entertaining. There’s all kinds of things going on, of which none matter. But it’s filmed in the most perfect way. The camerawork is outstanding. And keeps you glued to the screen. But the plot is weird and the dialogue is weak. It’s better than The Hateful Eight or Kill Bill, but nothing close to Django Unchained or Pulp Fiction. 

People say the same about Roma. It’s slow and has no story, but it’s great cinema. So this is Tarantino’s kind of Roma. 

Yet, Roma didn’t have Brad Pitt. And had a flawless editing. And had some kind of message. This one doesn’t.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7131622

 

 

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Woman In Gold – **

Posted: August 16, 2019 in 2015, Courtroom, Drama, UK, USA, XX

Gustav Klimt’s Portrait Of Adèle Bloch Bauer was hanging at the Belvedere in Vienna for several decades until a family member of the model claimed it back.

It’s an amazing story. Based on true facts. Adèle Bloch Bauer was a model for one of the most important Austrian painters. Her husband commissioned the portrait and it hung in their house for many years. Until the Nazi’s took over control in Vienna and the paintings were confiscated. The portrait was brought to the Belvedere, which is one of the many art museums in Austria’s capital.

Jump ahead to the late nineties when Austria starts to talk about giving back paintings to those families that the nazis stole it from. Unfortunately for the Austrians, there’s a niece of Adèle Block Bauer living in Los Angeles who wants the painting of her aunt back. She gets the help of a young lawyer, also of Jewish-Austrian descent, and an Austrian journalist who wants to come to terms with the country’s nazi past.

It’s an okay movie. The story intrigues and Helen Mirren is quite charming in the main lead. She created a character that entertains throughout the entire story. Also good are the flashbacks to the time of when the painting was made and the time of the nazi takeover. But unfortunately the focus is on the court case and that’s a tad boring.

Not sure what Austrians think about this movie…

www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425

After visiting The Third Man Museum in Vienna, it’s kind of obligatory to eventually (re-)watch the movie that inspired the museum.

But.

Be ready to be disappointed.

Sure, it’s a classic movie. It’s really well filmed. The cinematography is great. There are several beautiful scenes that have influenced the work of many future directors. The acting is solid too and the setting (post-war divided Vienna) is intriguing.

However, the story is very predictable. When the movie was released, the big surprise was a big surprise to audiences around the world. But seventy years later (7 decades!) the surprise isn’t a surprise anymore. Especially if you know that the movie stars Orson Welles and he’s not onscreen for the first hour. Somehow there is no tension at all in this ‘thriller’. Even when you see it for the very first time.

But still. Worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0041959

A guided tour of the Leopoldmuseum in Vienna by an art historian who raved about Egon Schiele. That’s all it takes to start watching the biopic that was made of the famous Austrian painter a few years ago.

It’s an interesting movie. It’s well acted, somehow historically correct and it shows the complexity of the artist without really judging him. That said, it’s also quite superficial. And romantic. Egon Schiele was not a handsome guy, yet he’s interpreted by Noah Saavedra – who apart from being an actor also works as a model. This feels wrong. Like having Brad Pitt or so play Van Gogh. However, the guy does an excellent job by keeping you intrigued for the entire length of the movie. Same for Valerie Pachner, who plays his muse and (eternal) lover Wally.

It’s a love story really, but a good one. Without a happy end of course. They all die. And that’s not a spoiler. The title is referring to one of his most famous paintings. A painting which is quite disturbing, something this movie (unfortunately) never does. So Egon Schiele himself would probably not like it at all. But oh well, he died 100 years ago…

www.imdb.com/title/tt4558396

American guests have no idea who Sissi is when they visit Bavaria/Austria for the very first time. Much to the (somewhat acted) shock of local guides, who refer to her quite a lot and then dramatically shout: “You mean: you don’t know Sissiiiiii ?”

The classic Sissy trilogy is not known to American audiences. There’s an abbreviated English dubbed version which is terrible. So never – ever – watch Sissi: Forever My Love. Just watch the original trilogy, in German, with subtitles.

Growing up in Europe, this trilogy is shown almost every year on several tv channels around christmas. Its success is a bit like The Sound Of Music, which was never popular in Austria and Bavaria by the way. Maybe a new generation has never seen the movies, but if you’re over forty, you must have at least seen parts of it.

The first movie: Sissi *** is still a great joy to watch. Camp isn’t the correct term. It’s more cheesy and corny. It’s a idealized portrait of the future Austrian empress from the moment she first meets Franz Joseph to her wedding. It’s a romcom that still works well 7 decades later. There is some efficient slapstick humor, the acting is deliberately over the top, Romy Schneider looks gorgeous and it has all the elements of a fairytale: the bold and adventurous princess, the charming prince (well…) and the evil stepmother. It’s really not a bad movie at all.

In Sissi, die junge Kaiserin **(*), there’s less comedy (although there are attempts) and more drama. Sissi is empress now and has a hard time with the strict life at court. When her first-born is taken away from her, she flees home. Time for Franz Joseph to gain her back. No wedding at the end, no divorce either. But the (very long) crowning of the couple as king and queen of Hungary. Lots of patriotism in this episode. Lots of postcard settings in cities and nature. Lots of Romy looking exactly how everyone wants to remember the empress.

Sissi, Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin ** is the third installment and the worst. Even though the first two movies were also not historically correct, they weren’t so historically incorrect as this one. This is pure fiction at times. The comic relief is gone and it just basically shows Sissi abroad. First during her lengthy stay in Hungary, then her trips to Madeira and Corfu (to cure from a lung infection) and then her trip home via Milan and Venice. This must have been like watching the Travel Channel back in the fifties, but anno 2019 it’s not really fascinating. Especially since all these nationalities are introduced in the most stereotypical way possible. No. This is not a good one, but Romy Schneider is absolutely gorgeous in every single scene. So. Watch it while doing something else. Like reading online what really happened to Sissi and Franz Joseph.

 

 

Sarajevo – **

Posted: July 28, 2019 in 2014, Austria, biopic, Germany, Terrorist, War, WW1, XX

This whodunnit … or rather who-ordered-it-to-have-it-done starts off really well. It focuses on one of the most important historical moments in recent history: the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

The protagonist is Leo Pfeffer, the magistrate in charge of the investigation. The case is quite simple really. Gavrilo Princip shot him after an earlier attempt to kill the archduke by other Serbian terrorists failed. They even arrested the murderer and he confessed. So what’s there to investigate?

Well, according to this movie a lot. Like, who ordered this murder? In history class we learn that a group of Serbian anarchists did it. But did they get the order from the Serbian government? Or … did they get the order from German (business) leaders who just wanted to start a war ?

The movie is good. Well acted. Well directed. Well told. BUT it’s focussing too much on the latter assumption. It’s an interesting thought and it’s true that Europe was eager to go to war (at least the German leaders), but we get the point after a while. There’s also a love story, which most likely is pure fictional and was just added for the drama. It’s well thought of, but it does bother the storytelling a bit. The conversations between the characters also feel like these characters know what the future will look like. Which they didn’t.

Still. Worth the watch. And it’s on youtube

www.imdb.com/title/tt3691446

 

Three young adults learn at the age of 19 that they are triplets. They all were born on the same day, all look alike and were all adopted.

This happened in the early eighties and at the time, the triplets were popular guests on all kinds of talk shows, telling their story of finally being reunited.

But soon questions arose: why were they separated?

There are plenty stories of twins being separated at birth (check out the Dutch movie De Tweeling (Twin Sisters), but this one feels utterly unjust as it was all planned and part of a science project. A vile, unethical, but intriguing study, of which the results have never been published.

This documentary tries to unravel some of the mystery around this story. And does it really well. It’s a great example of how you can make a documentary, following the script rules of good cinema. The editing is really well done and the whole build up is great, with some surprises as well. And all that with just some interviews, some vintage footage and some re-enacted scenes.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7664504