Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Kebab Connection – **

Posted: August 13, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Germany, romcom, XX

You know when a movie is old when a) people don’t use cell or smart phones to communicate with each other and b) people smoke in public rooms. However, Kebab Connection is from 2004. Not that long ago. It just looks like it was made back in the eighties. And that was probably the point.

Finally, after ordering a Döner Kebab (that’s a fact), the time was right to watch this German romcom about a young aspiring movie maker of Turkish descent whose aspiring actress girlfriend turns out to be pregnant. It’s a Romeo & Julia love story set in Hamburg. There’s little drama, but quite a lot of humor. It feels fresh. But it also feels like it was made with a very low budget. There are plenty of references to classic movie scenes. The acting is good. It’s quite entertaining. And at times original. It’s simple, somewhat naive, amateur and very positive. A old fashioned feel good movie. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177882

Romeos – **

Posted: February 6, 2017 in 2011, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, XX

No, this is not the movie about the Flemish crooner trio De Romeo’s.

Lukas is a young transgender who moves to Cologne where he reconnects with an old girl friend of his. He’s put in a dorm for women as he physically still is a woman, but he wants to join the boys next door. His girl friend (who’s a lesbian) takes him to some gay parties, where he meets Fabio, who’s in the closet at home, but pretty popular in the clubs. They bond.

Unlike other movies about transgenders, this one deals with a girl becoming a boy. That’s already something refreshing. And unlike the other movies this one isn’t drenched in sorrow and misery and doubt. Yes, life as a transgender isn’t easy, but at least this character is pretty positive about his/her transition. It’s a low-budget movie. There’s nothing special about the directing or so. It’ll probably cause controversy when shown to a bigger crowd (say as a television movie or in classrooms), but it’s not that offensive either.

The acting is solid, even though it’s bizarre that they cast a boy (Rick Okon) to play the transgender. Maximilian Befort (who plays Fabio) looks like a German Marcello Mello Jr. But it’s Liv Lisa Fries who really steals the show. An actress with potential!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830792

Drei (3) – *(*)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, Satire, X1/2

A straight couple who’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary together and finally plan to get married, both encounter the same man who they feel attracted to. She meets him at some congress, he meets him at the swimming pool. And soon they all have an affair. This is why Facebook has ‘it’s difficult’ as a relationship status.

The humor and the conversations are quite elitist, with references to theatre, art, literature, philosophy and science. It’s a bit too much sometimes. The story itself is very simple and predictable. None of that intellectual blabla makes it more profound.

But there are moments, when it’s entertaining. It has a Toni Erdmann feel, but it is less weird and less confronting. The acting (especially by Austrian tv actress Sophie Rois) makes it worthwhile and the editing trick of having several scenes appear all over the screen is fun.

And let’s go to Berlin again and get into that swimming pool !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517177

Wie Die Karnickel – **

Posted: October 7, 2016 in 2002, Comedy, Germany, LGBT themed, XX

Why would anyone want to watch a German sex comedy? Well, because a German sex comedy – unlike Hollywood sex comedies – actually joke about sex.

Is this a great movie? Of course it’s not award winningly great. But in accordance with the statement in the previous post: this was funny from start to finish, so yes it’s great if you have low expectations.

What is it about? Well, based on a comic by the guy who wrote nineties smash hit Der Bewegte Man (Maybe…, Maybe not) and deals with a contrabass player in an music ensemble who gets dumped by his girlfriend after she discovers that he watches porn movies at home. His gay neighbor (and old time school buddy) tries to make him think about relationships and sex like most gay men do. What follows is a series of lame, but embarrassingly funny scenes. The kind that will make you laugh knowing that nobody else is watching you having a good time. It’s really bad, but that’s perfectly okay. Some scenes are really hilarious.

Only available in German

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289623/

Recommended by a vinyl shop owner in Leipzig, who sells dvd’s at 1 euro a piece. And worth every single cent! This is a fun comedy with crazy characters who keep you entertained for the entire 90 minutes.

It’s for young adults though, but anyone can enjoy the little absurd story of a young quirky girl who gets stranded on an island with a stuttering Greek, a macho Turk and the latter’s devote muslim sister. Their adventure starts after a plane crash in the Indian ocean. While the kids are on the island, the crazy mother of the girl and the serious father of the Turkish siblings are awaiting news of their children in a fancy resort somewhere else.

The movie is loosely based on a popular German tv series in which a caucasian teenager records what happens when her divorced mother decides to move in with her new Turkish-born partner and his two kids. This time around though, the characters remain the same, but the setting and storyline have nothing in common with the tv show. That alone is quite remarkable.

Some scenes make no sense at all, but the comedy gets away with it just fine. The acting is funny. The characters are very stereotypical, but that’s exactly what the makers are aiming at. And that main lead, Elyas M’Barek, just blows you away. He’s currently one of Germany’s biggest and most popular stars and this is the part that made him famous. There’s a lot wrong with the movie, but let’s focus on the good: it’s entertaining and a great family movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650536

Juliette Binoche and Kirsten Stewart are a joy to watch in this drama about an actress and her assistance who travel to Sils Maria in order to prepare for a new theatre role that the actress (Binoche) has reluctantly accepted.

There’s not much going on really, but it doesn’t bore. Binoche is almost in every scene. She’s great as a tormented star who has a hard time accepting the fact that she’s getting old. She’s great, because even though she has her issues, she still acts pretty normal in most circumstances. Kirsten Stewart has a huge supporting part and then suddenly disappears. But with reason. No spoilers !

Of course, if all depends on how tolerant you are towards Binoche and Stewart. Especially the latter has quite a few haters roaming the movie loving world. But she’s great at being very natural here. Maybe she isn’t acting.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2452254

So you’re in Berlin and the local guide mentions the infamous Berlin Airlift from back in 1948/1949. So what do you do? You buy a 5 euro television movie at the Saturn and watch it!

Three hours long!

1945. After an agreement in Potsdam, Germany gets split up in four zones. The same is done to the city of Berlin. A few years later the French, British and Americans decide to merge their zones and introduce a new currency. The Russians aren’t all too happy with that provocation and block all entrance roads to the western part of Berlin, occupied by – yup – the French, British and Americans.

So…. it’s decided to bring in goods by planes. and that for more than a year.

Now, you can’t just make a movie about planes coming in and out and sometimes crashing as well. No, you need to add DRAMA! And this is done by focusing on one particular woman: Luise Kielberg. She’s a single mom who gets a job at the American airport in Berlin. Her husband hasn’t returned from the war and she slowly falls for her boss, an American general in charge of the air lift. But halfway through the movie her husband returns and so she’s torn between staying loyal to the father of her child or starting life allover again.

Of course history gets explained a bit. There is even use of real footage from back then. But it doesn’t intrigue. It also doesn’t work seeing Truman and Stalin converse in German. All in all, it’s a romantic story set in a historical background made with a small budget (according to Hollywood standards). The lazy special effects and the forgetful eye for details are very Sharknado. So not really worth the respect. But it works. Kinda. And the acting isn’t bad. Especially Bettina Zimmerman is carrying the movie with little effort.

But here’s my suggestion: just read the wikipedia page on the Berlin Blockade instead

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447728