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Streets of Fire (1984)
A Rock'n Roll Fantasy and a Movie like no other!
Streets of Fire reminds me in many ways of the Movies from Quentin Tarantino. In the sense, that while it takes many elements from other (Genre)Movies it still manages to create something not only new but unique. I have never seen another Movie i could compare SoF with. It is a strange yet compelling mix of Action, Musical, Romance and Comedy. Set in a Fantasy World that is a blend of American 50s Style and Neo Noir feeling of the 80s. Including with Neon-Lights, Dark Alleys and lots of Smoke. The Film oozes Style and atmosphere. The Dialogue consist almost entirely of Cheeky One-Liners. Fortunately all the Actors play it straight and thereby give there Parts credibility. While there is no real Character development or much depth to speak of, the Actors are all perfectly cast. There Characters are all Archetypes. The Hero (Michael Pare), The Villain (Willem Dafoe), the Damsel in Distress (Diane Lane), The Sidekick (Amy Madigan) and the Comedic Relief play by Rick Moranis.
Great Cinematography, exceptional Lighting, tight Editing and detailed Set and Costume Design make sure the Film succeeds on every Technical Level. And then there is the Soundtrack. Besides The Actors and the Style it is the Movies biggest strength. If you are into 80s Rock you are in for a treat. There are several Song Number that play out in full length. Especially the Opening and closing Number are absolutely fantastic. As i said before, except the occasional One-Liner there is very little Dialogue. But that is by no means a bad thing. It gives Walter Hill great opportunity for visual Storytelling. For a Movie that could very easily be described as being style over substance, it is remarkable that the Final Scene never fails to put a Tear into my Eye.
The Film itself did not find it's Audience when it was released in 1984 but has gathered a ever growing cult following since. One interesting Note is, that while the Film failed to make and impact with Western Audiences, it proofed quit popular in Japan. Even heavenly inspiring a Anime show called Bubblegum Crises from 1987. Just watch the opening Scene of the fist Episode! No doubt, Street of Fire is not for everybody. But if you are into Rock'n Roll, like your Lights neon and your Alleys foggy and want to experience something truly unique, you should give SoF a chance! It has lots of Style, one of the best Soundtracks ever produced, memorable One-Liners and great Actors, many of them who have since become Stars. One of them being the lovely and very underrated Diane Lane who has never looked more beautiful then in this movie. And that's saying something.
Streets of Fire is a Movie you either end up falling in love with or don't care about at all. I for one consider myself lucky to be falling in the first category.
Dawn of an New Era
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes surprised the hell out of me! Not because i did not expect a good movie. I read the reviews and they were all great. But every once i a while a movie comes along, so strong, that it manages to surpass even great expectations.
I should properly say that i am not the biggest PotA Fan to begin with. I really like the original and was pleasantly surprised by Rise. But Dawn plays in a totally different league. Everything about this movie is to notch. From the screenplay, Direction, Acting, Score, Cinematography, Lighting, Editing and of course the Effects. But when you say the effects in this movie are great, it still feels like a major understatement. When it comes to the (e)motion capture effects, we are talking Avatar level! The effects are absolutely 100% Photorealistic. They are so good, that 10 minutes into the movie you stop being amazed by the effect and just recognize them as characters. I thing that is the ultimate goal any effect should try to achieve!
The Actors, Humans and Apes, all do great jobs here. But special mention most go to Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbell who play Ceaar and Koba. They both bring unbelievable presence, strength, honor and in Kobas case threat to there parts. The Film itself is paced very well and does not have a doll moment. Yet the director is confident enough to not rush to the scenes. He gives the characters and settings time to breath. The world they build is very atmospheric and believable. The film also has many memorable scenes many of them with little or no dialog. The actors often working with gestures and there eyes. Which is especially fascinating when you realize that every performance has to by made twice. Once by the Actor and once by the visual effects Artist. And make no mistake, Artists they are!
The movie, though great in scope and spectacle has little in common with the average summer Blockbuster. It is not a fun Action adventure. There is serious emotion and drama to be found here. And even though there are a couple of great Action set-pieces, it is often the small quiet moment that managed to move me the most. There were several Moments and the Film when i had bleary eyes. And i don't tear up that easily! One of these Moments was the absolute great and in my opinion very brace Ending. Powerful, powerful Stuff!
They are already working on the next Apes Movie which should come out in 2016. If they can contain that level of quality, i am really looking forward to where the story leads next. Until then, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remains the best of it franchise and for now the best movie of the Summer.
Offbeat, Gross, Charming, Repulsive, Honest, Sad & Funny
Wetlands or "Feuchtegbiete" as it is called in Germany is an adaptation from the Bestselling Novel by German Author and Ex VIVA Host Charlotte Roche! The Book was quit a scandal when it first came out due to it's honest and unadorned description of female Sexuality. Due to it's graphic sexual contend and detailed description of all kind of Taboo Themes and large numbers of Body fluids the book was deemed unfilmable. But, as it is the case with most unfilmable Books, they had to make a movie! Having never read the Book and judging from all i heard about it, i was quit surprised when i saw the Movie! The tone was much lighter then i had expected! While the Film is quit open and explicit with it's depiction of Sex, Body hygiene and social taboos like hemorrhoids, i never felt it to be repulsive or shocking. The Movie is very funny and plays mostly for laughs. Yet, by taking the Characters and there Situations seriously it also gives it some unexpected depth! Special Mention most go to Carla Juri who brings a natural charm to her Part and proofs that she can carry a movie with ease! I'm very interested to see where her career will take her in the years to come.
While certainly not for everybody i am convinced, that many people will have a good time watching this movie. Women especially should be able to identify with the lead character and will recognise many of the problems and challenges she faces throughout the Film.
Definitely one of the better Movies that have come out of Germany for quit some time!