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Full Metal Village (2006)
Was that it?!
Wacken is not only the name of a small town in the very north of Germany. Every year the largest Heavy Metal festival in Europe is held in that little town counting 1.800 inhabitants. For five days, thousands of freaked out people with long hair and black clothes invade the town to celebrate "W:O:A", "Wacken Open Air".
The film is supposed to be a portrait of the lives of the people from Wacken, what they do for living and how they think about these five days when more than 60.000 (75.000 in 2007) long haired, evil looking "metalheadz" conquer their small untouched world. As I said, it is supposed to be....
The film leaves me with many unused possibilities. Example: There is a girl and her grandmother living in Wacken. Granny tells us about how she was forced to leave Prussia in WW2 and how she came to live in Wacken. In the next scene we see her praying before going to bed, her granddaughter tells us, that she is a very religious woman and she doesn't think very well about the festival and the people. But granny herself is never asked for her opinion by the director.
What do these old people think about rock music and heavy metal? Why does granny find it so bad? What are her worries? What are her fears? What image does she have of all the black clothed people shaking their heads to music that tells stories of murder and blood? The film doesn't ask enough questions.
We get to know many people from the village, but we get to know the surface. The director simply doesn't ask enough questions, she just lets the people talk. Talk about their jobs, their lives as farmers, the stories of their weddings.
But that's nothing special. If I want to hear stories about being forced to walk from Prussia to Germany during WW2, I go visit my grandma. If I want to hear stories about farming, I watch TV-documentaries.
The film is called "Full Metal village", but it makes one mistake: It doesn't confront the village with the metal at all. The special thing about Wacken is the people from that small village being confronted with the biggest metal festival in Europe. Wacken is an average German village with average German people who have average jobs and average hobbies, the film shows the everyday life in an average German village. I don't want to hear stories of their cows and what the difference between a cow and a calf is. I want to know: What do these average farmers think about the festival?
The film didn't give any interesting answers. Because it didn't ask any questions at all.
The best one of the Spencer/Hill legacy!
I grew up with them, here in Germqany their films are extremely popular. Now that I'm a grown-up, of course I must admit that most of their films are pretty silly, yet still they had an effect on me and influenced my preferences. This one is definitely the best one of them. Its slapstick humor is brilliant and the story is silly but absolutely hilarious. But the best thing about the film is the music. The moment you start whistling it, everybody knows exactly where it comes from. Genius! Even aspects like photography and set decoration are very convincing in this one, you find some beautiful pictures and scenes in it. So it's still a classic simple slapstick-buddy-movie, but a very special one: Their best one! It's a hell of fun to watch it!
Rammstein: Lichtspielhaus (2003)
How come America loves this band so much?
I mean, I for example don't listen to Spanish music because I don't understand the lyrics. And if I only read paroles like "Du riechst so gut" or "Achtung, Blitzkrieg" then I assume, that hardly anyone in America who likes Rammstein ever got the meaning of their songs, right? I like Rammstein, but I think "reise, reise" is the only really good album by Rammstein, but especially because of the great and poetic lyrics. So what do you love about them if you have no idea what they are singing about? And probably if you had, then there would be lots of people not liking this band anymore. "Du hast", "Bueck dich" or "Du riechst so gut", I mean come on, those are silly songs!
Casino Royale (2006)
Bond gets a new face. And a good one!
I never liked Bond. Too much stereotype, too much cliché-based. And the last two films definitely blow. I mean, come on, an invisible Aston Martin, what garbage. The last Bond movies were one visual effect. Louder, faster, dumber. And I wasn't sure if the new one could do any better. I saw it two days ago. It could. Hardly any visual effects, but more solid action and suspense. Great! And Daniel Craig is the perfect Bond. A little more rough and dirty than the last ones, but always with a little humor. He always seems a sympathetic character, in contrast to Brosnan, who was an arrogant and one-dimensional character all the time. The new Bond is three-dimensional, he goes through a journey and changes within it. He is a man, not a hero. As I said, the film strictly avoids clichés, the gangsters are no Nazis, no Muslims, no evil Russians. They don't want to destroy the world, they don't have any superpower weapons. They are criminals, only with a bit more money.... The film is perfectly set and played, director Campbell did a great job as well. Amazing scenes, like the very first chase in Africa, which is breathtaking, great camera movement, superb actors, the film is by far the best Bond I've ever seen! There was only one thing, I didn't like: After about one minute of driving, Bond crashes his Aston Martin DB-S. Amazing scene, but that nice car..... *cry*
P.S.: Sorry for the leaking vocab, I'm from Germany.
Der Untergang (2004)
A German opinion....
First of all, because I think it matters, I am from Germany.
Almost everyday in our lives, we young German people are still confronted with what happened 60 years ago. Sometimes, we still have to be careful what we say about strangers, about people of foreign countries, about people of a different religion. 60 years after our grandparents made a few terrible mistakes. So far, so good. My generation has no idea, what it has meant to live in the 3rd Reich, how people could follow a sick man like Hitler, follow his pervert ideas, obey anything this mentally insane man. But still we have to carry our heritage, every day we have to remember what happened 60 years ago. We have to. And films like Downfall, Schindlers List or The Pianist let us not forget, let us learn and remember. And that's why movies like Downfall are necessary, are important. Especially, if they of such great quality as this one. Only in one point this film is dangerous: It creates a picture of Hitler as a man, not as a monster. A sick man, a man with pervert ideas attitudes, okay, but a man who can also be polite and regarding. A human being. It is no question, that this is an almost perfect personification of Hitler, Bruno Ganz is amazing and the scriptwriters were brilliantly informed about the Fuehrer as a person. But as I said, some people who still have these radical ideas and see Hitler as a God-like figure (and they exist, not only in Germany!) might misunderstand this personification. "Der Untergang"is a masterpiece of German cinema, but it is nothing for a narrow-minded audience....
The last scene
The film is neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine. If you see and understand the scenes where Avner is talking with "Ali" and especially the very last scene in New York where he offers Ephraim to eat with him, as Jews are supposed to do it, you notice that the film only shows the completely desperate situation of both religions without naming one as the better one, the true one. And that's what makes the film so extraordinarily honest. Spielberg does never judge anybody, but he criticizes both parties. Ephraim turns down Avners offer to eat with him, he only sees the conflict, he is no longer aware what it usually means to be a Jew. Being Jewish for him means fighting against Palestine, he forgot his own roots. And that's the part where Spielberg delivers his own opinion, without judging.
The Truman Show (1998)
Ashaming that the Academy of motion picture arts and sciences has never realized what a brilliant actor Jim Carrey really is. The is no explanation for him not getting the Oscar for the Truman Show, there is no excuse for not even nominating him for The Truman Show and Man on the Moon. I like the academy Awards, most of the time it is a fair thing, but in that year it was a disaster. How else can you explain that in the year of Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line and of course The Truman Show the most boring and joyless film of all time Shakespeare in Love gets eight, I repeat, eight Oscars and the Truman Show gets none? I think it is because Jim has made so much Comedy, nobody really knows what tough work comedy means. It is ashaming that the Academy is sometimes still driven by outdated prejudices. For me, Jim Carrey is the greatest and most versatile actor in the world! And The Truman Show is The greatest performance by an actor I have ever seen on screen. Finished!
Helge - no longer funny....
I love Helge Schneider. I know that he is a brilliant musician, his jazz concerts are amazing and I've seen him live on stage where he combines jazz and classical music with comedy in a perfectly funny way. But this movie, although it contains brilliant jazz music, was simply boring. It does not contain any kinds of hints of a story, the whole film is about jazz, well done jazz, I have to admit. But if you like his music you should better get yourself one of his CD's. Helge once used to be hilarious, but those times are apparently over. This work was not worth watching it. But I don't care, I still love Helge Schneider!!!
Hellboy - A genre masterpiece!
I never saw Hellboy in the cinema and I seriously regret that. Now that it's out on DVD I saw it for the first time and I must say that it is the best comic-movie I have ever seen. Ron Perlman is the perfect actor for this role and DelToro directs the movie with a very special sense of humor. The script is excellent, because it is funny, romantic and pure action and the most important thing is that Hellboy does not pretend to be absolutely serious, it is made with a constant eye-blink. The visual effects are amazing, the sound blows away your speakers and the film is just two hours of exciting funny action. I like Hellboy, maybe you will, too.