Archive for the ‘XX1/2’ Category

Back in 1942, Charlie Chaplin re-edited his favorite movie: The Gold Rush, a silent movie box office hit form 1925 ! He left out the script boards, added a voice over (done by himself) and had a orchestra perform a new score to it.

Having visited Chaplin’s World in Vyvey, which features lots of references to this classic, it’s time to finally watch it.

But… it’s not that special. The orchestra and the voice over make the whole experience more annoying than fun. It would have been better to watch the remastered original version from 1925.

Still, There are a few good scenes in it. Especially the ones with actress Georgia Hale, who – contrary to the men – does not overact at all and is perfect in her role as saloon dancer. Oh, there’s also the short but charming roll dance by Chaplin, two forks and two pieces of bread rolls. (see below)

www.imdb.com/title/tt0015864

 

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According to the ten year old son of a good friend, this is the BEST. MOVIE. EVER.

When I was ten, E.T. was the best movie ever.

That said. Hobbs & Shaw is quite a fun movie. It’s action packed. There are funny dialogues. Main leads Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have good chemistry. Idris Elba is great as the bad guy. (he should always be the bad guy). Princess Margaret from The Crown is kicking ass and strangling people in a more efficient way than Sylvester Stallone has ever done. Or Schwarzenegger. Or Van Damme. Or Seagal. Cliff Curtis is in it! And Helen Mirren! Oh, and unfortunately Kevin Hart as well. There are chase scenes in London and battle scenes in Samoa!

Not sure why I’ve never watched any of the previous episodes in this Fast & Furious Franchise, but this is a great introduction.

Not sure why it’s not a bigger box office success. Is it too British? Is it too different form the other movies? It’s the story, some say.

Ehm. Who needs a story in these kind of movies? Here’s the story: a secret agency wants a dangerous virus, created to help humankind, but re-programmable into a very deadly genocide wipeout virus. A woman on the run has injected the virus into her body and both the CIA and MI6 are sending their best asset to stop the woman/virus getting into the wrong hands. Yes. The story makes NO sense at all. But it’s fun!!!!

www.imdb.com/title/tt6806448

Mon Frère – **(*)

Posted: August 19, 2019 in 2019, France, Social Drama, XX1/2

French cinema dares to put unprofessional actors in front of the camera and it almost always works. Why doesn’t Hollywood take these risks? Because the actor’s guild would complain? Who knows. Somehow in France, established actors praise the work of debutants and don’t mind sharing the screen with them in supporting parts.

However, this time the lead actor may not be nominated for best newcomer at next year’s César ceremony as he’s gotten himself in a bit of a shitty mess earlier this year. Accused of manslaughter, he’s imprisoned as we speak. So, it’s quite ironic that he’s playing a kid that’s placed in a centre for young delinquents, accused of having killed his father.

MHD is a young French rapper, who even performed at Coachella last year (the first French rapper to ever do so). You may have never heard of him, but he’s one of those successful artists on streaming sites around the world, mixing trap with african sounds. He’s doing a great job in this movie. Clearly new to the acting game, he does deliver. His performance is honest and real and it’s quite brave to play a young delinquent of about 18 years old, when in fact you are a 25 year old rap star. But he’s not the only star. A lot of the fellow delinquents in the movie do an excellent job as well. Sure, their characters are stereotypical and a bit too much at times. Just like the actors who play the staff of the juvenile detention centre. But in the end it’s an intriguing movie.

It starts off as a semi-documentary about life in one of those centers, but then focuses quite fast on two young adults, hating each others’ guts at first, but then forming an alliance towards the end. Towards the end it loses its seriousness and realism and that’s a bit of a disappointment.

It sure has it flaws, but it’s worth the watch. It’s in movie theaters in France, but on Netflix anywhere else.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9095526/

 

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.

 

 

Gräns – **(*)

Posted: July 20, 2019 in 2018, Fantasy, Romance, Sweden, XX1/2

Not half as bizarre as critics want you to believe, this romantic drama will keep you intrigued until the very end.

Tina looks different. She’s been told that it’s due to a mistake in the chromosome system. She has some traits that others don’t have though. She can smell emotions and feels much more united with nature. She works at customs and can ‘sniff’ out those passengers with illegal merchandise. Then, one day, she meets a passenger that seems to suffer from the same medical injustice. It turns her world upside down. He claims not to be human.

It’s a movie about a troll woman figuring out who she really is. And it’s a good movie. Sure, there are some scenes that may be disturbing, but they fit the narrative. It’s a bit predictable though. You may not smell it, but you can still anticipate what’s coming. Maybe that’s why in the end it’s a bit disappointing, after having read all the raving reviews.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5501104/?