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"Into the wild" as a crime Thriller Epilogue
I only write reviews WITHOUT spoilers, but for this one, it's almost impossible to do this movie justice without going into spoilers, so this will be short!
The headline says it all. For the first hour, this movie does NOT really feel like Breaking Bad, but in a typical BB fashion, this slow pieced movie slowly gets to its overload of fan-service and typical ending, that serves as the perfect epilogue for the Pinkman story with a few to many flashback sequences.
This movie couldn't possibly live up to its expectations and that's totally ok. It still is a joyride, of a slow paced breaking bad encore that no fan wants to miss!
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
No Bat-Mobile, but still a thrill ride from Bale!
This movie has as much traction and grip, as the car that won Le Mans 66!
Another stunning performance by Christian Bale (without any body transformation this time!) and the same goes for Jon Bernthal! Yes, this movie might be 20mins to long, but it takes you on a long and exciting ride with an end you won't see coming, unless you spoil yourself with how the race in '66 ended - my advice: DON'T! it will pay off.
I'm a Formula 1 enthusiast and occasionally watch the Le Mans races as well, so I wasn't aware how the race in '66 ended. I wasn't even aware of the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari back then, but this movie won't bore you with the details to much. It gives the necessary overview of the needed context, so that every viewer understands what's on the line here.
I'd recommend a viewing in an IMAX for sure, to feel the sound and experience the race for yourself. Much like Rush, this movie manages to get the excitement of racing transformed to the audience, without focussing on any crashes or the (back then) still live threatening motorsport.
We don't have an Oscar category for that!
I'm not gonna lie.... the only reason, why I went to see this movie was... Tom Hanks.
I think this is a movie made for the audience in the USA and people who don't know Fred Rogers (Like most Non-Americans) will view this movie with completely different eyes.
You go into that movie thinking, that you gonna see Tom Hanks as the lead character, but thats not at all the case. At best, he is a supporting character for the lead of Lloyd Vogel, but I'd make a statement, that Fred is actually only a plot device in this movie. Don't get me wrong, Hanks is amazing in this role. Creepy, weird but so kind at the same time. It's hard not to laugh about his sincere kindness, but it will warm your heart for sure! We are not used to people being so kind these days, so it's pretty off putting.
While Hanks and Rhys deliver great performances, this movie suffers from the (unfortunately still very common) problem, of creating weak female characters. Lloyds wife is beyond annoying and every other female character is as plain as a Dorito, you left in the bathtub for hours.
While the "outdoor/Ext. Shots" are handled in a pretty interesting and artsy way, the rest of the movie lacks memorable cinematography. The end is as predictable as it gets, which is not a bad thing for this movie though, as it's the perfect fit for Hanks character, Mr. Rodgers.
What this movie is best at is reminding you, that it's not hard to be kind and maybe we all should be more kind to each other, because kindness is the only thing you can't have enough of in this world nowadays!
Western Stars (2019)
The shortest Springsteen concert you will ever see
This is no movie review! (The BOSS - "MTV Unplugged style")
I would never have expected to write an album review on IMDB, but this "movie" is basically a live unplugged concert with a beautiful orchestra in Bruce Springsteens barn, accompanied with a few BEAUTIFUL shots, with mainly Bruce in the dessert, in his car or with his horse. Stunning cinematography and an orgasm for every SPRINGSTEEN fan, but as a normal viewer, I have to say that I maybe liked 2, 3 songs and then this is what it comes down to. The transition shots and "introduction cards" to each song where well written by the Boss himself and felt dear. The intimate atmosphere in the barn works well to transport the feeling towards the audience in the cinema, this movie ist BEST experienced in a cinema, with a great sound system!
Uncut Gems (2019)
What the...?! - Sandler is pulling a Carell
LFF Surprise Screening
After Green Book being the Surprise Movie last year at LFF, I had high hopes, maybe to high, because I was nothing but disappointed.
What can I say... Let's start with the good stuff first:
Adam Sandler sent in a video message, greeting the London audience, which was a pretty nice thing to do, and it already set the mood for the movie, so kudos for that.
Don't get me wrong, Adam Sandler is the highlight of this movie and without his awesome performance, the rating would be even lower. He is clearly going down the same route as Steve Carell in 2014 with Foxcatcher. Maybe we will see him in more drama roles in the future, as I'm sure he will be recognised for his performance, it really suits him and shows that he can do much more than comedy(!).........but that doesn't make the movie good.
Kevin Garnett and The Weekend, playing themselves, is hilarious, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't what they were aiming for. This movie makes you feel physically so uncomfortable... People constantly shout at each other, this movie feels overly forced to be hectic, aggressive, unsettling, just with the intend of making the audience feel uncomfortable. I get it... it's suppose to make you feel as bad as the character Sandler plays, but I am not sure if he feels worse at the end of the movie, or my stomach.
After reading a few TIFF reviews, I was excited to see this movie, but never have reviews been so misleading.
I think this would have been a good short film, to stress you out for 15-20mins, but having this run for 2 hours and 15min is just to much for a sound mind. Just imagine, you had an all you can eat buffet and now have to ride a rollercoaster for the next 2.5 hours, that's how you gonna feel at the end. A must see for every fan of Sadism and masochism.
The Friend (2019)
The best 2019 movie you will never see!
A movie that accomplished something that not many movies can....getting me emotional. I don't know what broke my heart more, the plot of the movie, that it was a real story or that the cinema was literally empty for this hidden gem!
This is my favourite film so far at the LFF. Sure, it has a pretty amazing cast, which I guess wasn't cheap, but it proves again that all you need for a great movie is a great, gripping and authentic story. Sadly, a movie like Transformers will always be more successful at the box office, but this is an industry problem. I can just recommend EVERYONE to check this movie out!
It showcases the importance of real good friends, love, compassion, death, grief, guilt, family, society and community. The fact, that this is a real story helps a lot, though I am not sure how much was added for dramatical reasons, this movie felt honest and authentic during its whole run. Yes, it is a very slow paced movie, but this is exactly what it needs to showcase the problems the characters are facing.
Beautifully written and amazingly acted, this is one of the best movies I have seen this year and I fear, that it will fall off the radar of many people, so please watch it and spread the word! These stories need to be told, shown and experienced. Sure it's not an easy watch, but its absolutely worth it, trust me!
Just Mercy (2019)
Promising Premise - Well executed, with minor flaws
This fantastic and gripping real story is made for the cinema! I wasn't aware of this great and inspiring person and I am glad this movie introduced me to him and his life story!
While this story is mixes a lot of ups and downs, you can still feel dread at times. This all though builds up to an extend that rewards you and the director is able to get that feeling of relief, camaraderie and courage transported to YOU in the audience, no matter if you are black or white.
The end credits will give you goosebumps, with the expected real life footage that reminds you again, that most of what you've seen in the last 2 hours, really happened to people. This is exactly the thought you should leave the cinema with. Sometimes, it only takes one kind person to have a huge impact!
Knives Out (2019)
Clue(do) Board Game brought to life, with a twist!
After seeing the trailer, the first thing you notice is the fantastic ensemble cast, but you might not expect this movie to be that comedic to be honest, more of a Thriller vibe. This movie decides to be a satire for the first 30mins, a silly comedy for the next 90mins and throws in some Thriller minutes for the fun of it, like playing Cluedo with Go-Stones, its a mess ad all over the place!
This murder mystery "reveals who the killer is" halfway through the movie and still keeps on going, because it changes its premise after the first half, and now decides to be a different movie.
All that being said... this movie is entertaining, for over 2 hours and reminds me how funny Daniel Craig can be. While the movie still suffers from the typical ensemble cast problems, it almost satirically plays with its own flaws and doesn't take itself to seriously.
It's absolutely not a movie that you will remember in a few months, but its a light-harded comedy that will make you laugh a few times and that's what a comedy is about after all.
I'm not sure if this is a movie you have to experience in the cinema, but it will be the perfect movie for a lazy rainy Sunday once it hits the streaming services!
Marriage Story (2019)
A hate it or love it scenario
This is a movie a lot of people responded to with great emotions, for various reasons. Maybe some of those people went through a divorce themselves or were kids who's parents split up. While I am part of the second group, let me tell you why this movie emotionally didn't touch me at all, but why it's also still a good movie!
Hands down.... this movie has one of the best opening scenes I have ever seen and I kind of expected something like this after watching the trailer. It drags you in right from the start and you know you are in for 135min of a difficult character piece. I need to say it right from the get go... Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are fantastic in it. The way they feed of each other, in this broken dynamic of a couple that went from love to hate, is mesmerising and you completely forget that they are acting, you feel like the invisible child that is witnessing its parents fight and you want to stop them fighting, but you can't.
Giving the audience that feeling is by no means accidental I think. The great camera work deserves a big shout out here! I think there are clearly 2 ways to look at that movie, the female and the male side. As I'm male myself, maybe I auto side with the husband in this scenario (I hope not) but I haven't seen Scarlett Johansson in a role that I hated her more in. Sure, the behaviour of the husband wasn't perfect either, but while the audience is lead to believe that the husband is the victim, this role can shift over (at a later point) to the wife becoming the "victim" and no one thinks about that the real victim here is the child who's stuck in the middle of all of this.
This movie is no joy ride and I tend to say that it should have been 30min shorter. Especially the musical scenes in the end felt like "to much". Sure, I get it, it's a reference to the Broadway theme, but it just felt out of place. Maybe this movie is a bit to long by design, to make you feel the dread and despair as a divorce, especially when it gets so dirty, is a process that goes on for much longer than you think it should.
I give it a 7.4/10 where the acting is clearly the highlight of the movie and I wouldn't be surprised if Driver and/or Johansson would be rewarded for their performances!
Prequel to the future president?
Can we please forget about the big names in this great cast for a second, who all performed brilliantly?! Luce is formally introducing us to a young actor who we will hear a lot about in the future... Kelvin Harrison Jr.! A not very well known actor who is surrounded by big names but doesn't get intimidated by it, he absolutely shines!
Cast aside, I love when a movie can authentically confuse you, who you should believe in this story and this is brilliantly done in this one! Julius Onah and J.C. Lee crafted a well balanced script which will make you twist and turn, questioning your own judgement and prejudice over the almost 2h runtime.
This film is full of political references and set in a small town not to far from DC. This movie is nothing like VICE, but it gave me a lot of similar vibes, as it could perfectly work as the backstory of some politician and his past. This multi-layered character piece perfectly fits in todays debates but at the same time has the potential to be a timeless statement. If you get a chance to see Luce, don't think twice and enjoy a very well acted character study, which originated from a play, but serves so well as a movie with it's surprising ending.
7.5 for this "Buddy-Thriller-Scifi-Horror-Dramady" Movie!
There are certain topics, that a lot of film makers avoid, because either its physically to complicated to set up rules and explain them, or they fear the possible backlash. This is why it's even more refreshing to see this approach back in cinema again.
While the movie doesn't reinvent the wheel, it is an absolute joy to watch and you are not being held back from enjoying the plot by wondering about the specific mechanics about "how does this actually work?" (Without going into spoilers to much, just see it for yourself!)
Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie have an authentic and gripping buddy relationship and both of them should be happy to have signed up for this script. I even struggle to put this movie into a genre, because there is no "Buddy-Thriller-Scifi-Horror-Dramady" category. This movie is weird in the most positive sense of the word and should be enjoyed without reading any spoilers ahead, hence this style of review.
The budget for this movie wasn't massive, but due to a fantastic piece of cinematography work, it looks much more expensive and just beautifully well done! Yes, money is important in this industry, but here we have a stunning example what can be done with dedication and creativity!
Why can't every comic book movie be like this?
Since Joaquin Phoenix was announced to play the Joker, i was on the front of the hype train and usually that leads to disappointment, but NOT this time!
This movie has such a gritty and realistic attitude towards it that my girlfriend (who has no clue about comics or Batman but i dragged her along into this!) asked me if this was based on a true story.
Yes, the similarities to Taxi Driver, Fight Club and The King Of Comedy are obvious, but that doesn't hurt the movie at all. Some things you might see coming, which i usually hate, but this movie manages to leave more questions open, that it answers, so the enjoyment doesnt end when the movie finishes, you can debate about your theories for hours.
I keep my reviews always spoiler free, I just wanna mention that I see what you tried here Todd Phillips, this movie is its own sequel - watch it and you'll understand
A lovely character study and instant classic that will never get old. 11 years after Heath Ledger, this might be the next Joker that walks away with the little golden man, at least a nomination seems guaranteed!
I can't stress enough how much i enjoyed that approach and would love to see more of these kind of movies, because this is what a comic adaptation really deserves.
An unexpected mix of biopic and fairytale
It actually took me a while to put this movie into a box. Is it a biography about Charles Dickens, or another version of the classic story being told? It's both.
It's actually like you watch a theater play that includes special effects you all have to imagine yourself during a play. You can clearly see the theatrical approach that the director wanted to take here. Christopher Plummer is an excellent Scrooge, the perfect fit! Even though this film throws in a good bit of comedy into the pot, it doesn't harm the story at all. If anything, it brings a little bit of freshness to the old classic of "A Christmas Carol".
I wouldn't describe it as a Christmas movie, or something that the whole family can enjoy for Christmas, but it certainly is a (long needed) new and modern approach to this story and that is still fascinating me, that this story indeed, never gets old.
L'amant double (2017)
Only the french can open a movie with a vagina wide spread and not call it porn.
The french certainly have a different tolerance for nudity and sex as we all know but if it becomes pointless it just results in a cheap tool, as sex sells. I have to say though, that I didn't have the feeling at any time in the movie. All nudity scenes are there for a reason. While the style in which the film was shot in, is thrilling and you want to know what happens next, this has a small downside to it.
This movie has two possible endings, which you can see coming pretty early. So I was thinking either this will happen, or that. One of them then actually happened. So you have a 50/50 chance of being surprised. Normally I hate, when movies are to predictable, but in this case, it didn't actually hurt the film that much. The last scene though (without getting into spoilers) feels just ridiculous and it feels like, its simply there for pure shock value and nothing else to end the film with sort of a jump scare. Overall it's still an entertaining movie, nothing new, nothing to classy but you wont be bored for a minute and that also matters a lot.
Americanized ending kills the movie
Oscar nomination for Jake Gyllenhaal for sure, winning? I don't thinks so, even though Americans and the academy will eat this up like a Christmas pie.
It has been a long time that I've seen a a movie where the actors performance is better than the movie itself. He will get nominated, as well as Tatiana Maslany, who I see actually having better chances of winning the Oscar, but in the end both might be going home empty handed.
Yes its a real story, but I would like to know how much of the personal stuff was actually....lets say... modified for dramatic purposes. The end is super cringy and way to American which damages the movie more than anything else. In the last 5mins the movie destroyed all the good build up. It will probably be loved in the USA, but all other countries will be very disturbed and cringed by it, as the whole patriotism and hero chanting is way to much in this movie. Still...worth watching, but I have to say, that I was a little bit disappointed in the end.
11th Hour (2017)
Real story short - with Selma Hayek
Amazing short movie with Selma Hayek, introduced by the Irish director Jim Sheridan. Seeing Hollywood stars in shorts is pretty unusual, but Hayek could have been played by anyone else in this short, the (true) story behind it is, what makes it actually very captivating and still, after all those years, it still mirrors the ongoing racial problems in America. Take the 8mins, watch this and thank me later.
Size actually matters!
So here we are, overpopulation of planet earth has come so far, that we found a new solution to it all. 28 years after "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" we have our next adventure with miniature people, this time we won't only shrink the kids though, we are going global!
I have to say, the cast is extraordinary! My favorite performance in this movie didn't come from Matt Damon though, or Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris, Udo Kier, Kristn Wiig or Rolf Lassgård. The star of the movie is Hong Chau. She will annoy you and make you laugh at the same time and she gets better and better the longer this movie goes, which is btw around 20mins to long.
The rating of this film actually depends strongly on if you want to see it as a light hearted comedy, or a social satire. As a satire, it would fail, as all the meaning of this gets lost in kind of lame jokes. IF you want to considers this a light comedy though, fair enough, switch of your brain and enjoy the fun in this SciFi Comedy. I think this is not what the director intended us to do, but it just happens. Of course you think about "What would I do", but sooner or later, you will be a bit bugged by the inconsistency of the film logic and the story telling process, so you are better off, not using your brain to much.
If you are looking for a light hearted comedy this Christmas, feel free to check Downsizing out. It won't thrill the critics to much, but it will do well at the box office! Christoph Waltz alone brings a smile to your face again and of course, Hong Chau!!!
Brigsby Bear (2017)
Who let that bear out? Who, who, who who who?
Finally a good comedy, even though it involves a lot of drama and eventually becomes more of a Dramedy. I don't want to talk to much about the plot itself. I was just expecting another one of those cheap comedies, but I was wrong.
A touchy subject, a great cast and a very ambiguous plot, which shows us all, that we might wanna hold onto a little bit of nativity, to really archive our goals, no matter what the society around you, thinks about you. We should all take away a huge lesson from this movie, even though it is "just a comedy". This movie is simply beautiful in every weird part of it and this is, what makes it such a joy to watch. Best Comedy 2017!
The Nile Hilton Incident (2017)
Noredin Mostafa against everyone else!
This is my highlight of the year!
Who would have thought, that a random Egyptian movie would be one of my diamonds of 2017. Filmed in Casablanca, as it was not possible to film in Egypt, forbidden to even screen in Egypt... This movie will take you into the deepest corruption of Cairo. Fares Fares, who plays the lead Noredin Mostafa, is a pleasure to watch and you actually feel, like you are in this mess yourself, as the camera work is so brilliant, that you feel like Cairo is all around you.
After seeing the movie, I can understand why Egypt wont let it screen it in their country, as there is way to much dirty stuff that this movie digs up. It is not a story I could personally relate to in any kind of way. I'm not a police man, not in Egypt, but still...this movie grabs you right in and makes you feel restless and worried, because everyone around you tries to play tricks on you, so who can you trust, if no one is trustworthy anymore?
Go into that movie with an open mind, no expectations, just like I did and thank me later.
8 Minutes (2017)
I almost never write reviews for shorts, but this is in my top 3 of all the shorts I have ever seen, so I had to!
The main plot/concept of this movie would have potential for a 2 hours movie, easily. This short focuses on the relationship between a father, his life and his son only, and all the chaos that emerges around the world at the same time, just becomes irrelevant and slowly drifts into the background. Abracadabra and the movie ending makes your jaws drop, like a magic trick.
Think about, what you would do in a scenario like this. Take the few minutes and watch this short, you will not regret it!
A movie, like a drunken LSD trip on anxiety
This is one of a kind for sure. A concept which is not new, but still feels fresh.
Reminds me of a mix of Momento, Black swan and Gone Girl! One of these movies where you would benefit from a second screening, as everything is shut out of sequence. As I have seen this movie on a festival and it was my 7th for the day, you might have an easier time watching it, when your brain is actually still on 100%. The story will soak you in and confuse you at the same time. I actually cant wait to watch it a second time.
I've always been a big supporter of Eric Balfour and he is actually pretty perfect for this role. I am not totally satisfied how the story of his character is concluded though, but I'm happy to see him in a good movie again after such a long time.
If you are in for a different kind of cinema experience, give this movie a chance, be focused on what is happening and have fun dealing with all those puzzles pieces later.
A hidden gem from Bulgaria!!!
Picture yourself walking by the train tracks and finding a hell of a lot of money, what would you do?
Glory tells the gripping and depressing story of Tzanko Petrov who exactly has this "luck". I actually don't want to say much more about this movie. You will join a journey, that goes left and right all the time, it's moving and unsettling, so get your seat belts on and prepare for a bumpy ride.
Only little criticism...I don't want to spoil anything, but the ending could have gone either way and I think the wrong one was picked, which surprisingly doesn't hurt the movie much. Still an extraordinary piece of work!
The Cakemaker (2017)
Probably the best German movie of the year
This movie creates a really gripping and innovative story that will cause goosebumps all over your body.
The main plot is simple but still unique. The director takes us along into a foreign country where we feel as isolated as the lead character is. Getting this vibe across to audiences is such a hard thing to do. You really feel like you are there in Jerusalem, having this rough time and you feel empty, lost, sad and depressed. On the other hand, all the positive moments in that movie actually bring joy to yourself as well. The movie is in German, English and Hebrew, so it's extremely authentic in its core. You have to decide for yourself how you feel about the ending, because I thing that could have been done a little bit better, but again.... it transfers all these complex emotions to you and Tim Kalkhof can just express without any words needed, what pain is.
A difficult topic, that you will most certainly remember.
Hotel Salvation (2016)
A journey to achieve a death with dignity
The young director Shubhashish Bhutiani (26) takes on the hard topic of death with this movie and the conflict that arises once the dilemma between a death in dignity and the everyday life arises.
An old man feels like his time has come and wants to depart from life in a way, that suits him. This of course causes quite a fuss within the family and the lack of understanding of a few other people is unsettling but understanding as well. Palomi Ghosh who plays the daughter is just stunning! You will probably see more of her very soon.
The only negative thing I can say about the movie is, that Hindi seems to bee a pretty fast language, so the subtitles are actually not on screen long enough on a few occasions and also the translation does not seem to be spot on. Luckily the director could clarify my questions in the Q&A after the movie and he said that I'm not the first one who asked these. So bare that in mind, that the translation can cause confusion.
Anyway... Watch out for more from this director!
I guarantee you, this will make you think!
Hands down, one of the best openings of any documentary I have ever seen! I won't spoil it for you, experience it yourself. No matter how you feel about hunting, this movie drags you in from the first second on and will not let your eyes allow to blink just once.
Before seeing that movie, I was disgusted by people, who kill animals for fun. I was asking myself why do they do it, why do people let them do it and so on. I must admit, this is only half of the story. My opinion on hunters is still the same, so this doc didn't changed my view on hunters, but on hunting, especially the "big ones" that you can find in the press so often.
This movie is not an easy one to watch, especially if you love animals, but believe me, its totally worth it! You will meet people with different views and stories and will follow their life for a good bit, trying to understand their motivations and getting a deeper look into the hunting industry. Ideally you can walk away from this movie with more knowledge and you will understand the dilemmas that this industry causes.
For me it was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a while and even if this doesn't look appealing to you from the trailer on, give the movie 10mins and you will be soaked in by the information, stories and cinematography.