Thomas Maurer: Out of the Dark

Thomas Maurer [German] is an Austrian stand-up comedian and Out of the Dark is his newest program, a Best of.

Plot:
After the (imagined) melt-down around his divorce (involving drunken appearances on TV shows, a brawl with Daniel Kehlmann and a coke scandal), Thomas Maurer wants to get back on his feet and explain everything that happened. And what better way for a stand-up comedian than to do this in his newest program.

The first part of the show revolves around his showbiz-riffing premise, the second half gets more political. Both halves were very good, but personally, I enjoyed the first one more.

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The Eagle (2011)

The Eagle is the newest film by Kevin Macdonald based on Rosemary Sutcliff‘s novel, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Donald Sutherland.

Plot:
Marcus (Channing Tatum) has to work very hard to wash his name clean, ever since his father disappeared north of Hadrian’s wall with an entire legion and the famous golden eagle that was its standard. And Marcus is quite successful in the army until he gets injured. His uncle (Donald Sutherland) takes him in and even buys him the slave Esca (Jamie Bell) as a present, to cheer him up. But Marcus won’t rest until his family’s name is restored. And so he takes Esca, who grew up in Scotland, and they head north to find the eagle.

The movie is a badly directed, racist pile of crap – but at the same time, it’s also its own slash fanfic and that makes it incredibly entertaining. Still, one can’t help but wonder how Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland and even Mark Strong got involved in this…

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Links

Books

LambdaAward Finalists. And the James Tiptree Jr. Award.

Mills and Boon Cover Recreation.

Games

Movies

Shia LaBeouf to star in the movie adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns.

Darren Aronofsky quits the Wolverine movie.

[via @kathrintha] The Art of Title Design.

Blinky: Short film about murderous robot starring Max Records.

TV

Game of Thrones Featurettes Collected.

Terry Pratchett TV plans.

Completely Different Things

[via @teashoe] Top Tips. I think my favorite is the one with the chocolate wrappers.

Rango (2011)

Rango is Gore Verbinski‘s newest film, starring the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant and Ray Winstone.

Plot:
An unnamed pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) spends his time setting up plays for himself and whatever he can find in his terrarium. But then he gets thrown out of the car by accident and ends up in the middle of the desert. On his own. In the small town Dirt he first only hopes to find some water but then he realises that it’s a possibilty for him to become somebody – and Rango is born, hero extraordinaire. But something weird is happening with the water in Dirt – and Rango takes it upon himself to find out what that is.

Rango is astonishingly beautiful, funny and a very nice play on Western stereotypes. It also tries to tackle some larger themes (especially about identity) but with less success, at least for its adult audience. Still, put together it’s a wonderful film.

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TV Meme – Meme Monday

[taken from liberrydwarf who beat me to a TV themed meme by a week. :) But by then I had already scheduled the other meme, so you’re getting this one now]

1. Earliest remembered television?

There are the Barbapapas. That was pretty early and I only got a rather hazy memory of them.

2. TV series you would want on a desert island.

Doctor Who? Old and new – because then I’d have really have a lot to watch.

3. TV that made you laugh.

Community always does it. But there’s loads more.

4. TV that made you cry.

I really do cry easily, so there are quite a few shows on that list. But I never cried as hard during a TV show than during the episode in Buffy where her mother dies. Holy freaking crap.

5. TV crap that you enjoy.

I love crappy shows – but they have to be the right kind of crappy. Right now that’s mostly The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and Spartacus.

6. TV you’ll never forget.

Going outside the TV shows for once, I will never forget the first time I saw the 9/11 footage. Which sounds all kinds of cheesy, but is actually true.

7. Favourite TV adaptation.

Liberrydwarf’s answer (Colin Firth-Pride and Prejudice) is pretty good and I do love me some Austen adaptations. But I think that Lost in Austen is my favorite.

8. Favourite nerdish program.

Between IT Crowd, The Big Bang Theory, Community and pretty much everything even remotely connected to SciFi and Fantasy, there’s little that’s not nerdy and on my to-watch-list.

9. One TV program you are currently watching.

Okay, I answered this extensively last week here.

10. One TV show/series you have been meaning to watch.

One show I mean to watch and didn’t mention last week is Jericho.

Solyaris [Solaris] (1972)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum. They showed the film in comibination with Deimantas Narkevičius’ Revisiting Solaris in his presence and in the presence of Natalya Bondarchuk. Both also gave short talks about the respective films.]

Solyaris is Andrey Tarkovskiy‘s arguably most famous movie, based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem, starring Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet and Vladislav Dvorzhetsky.

Plot:
The psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) is sent to a space station which orbits the planet Solaris. Weird things have been happening there and Kelvin is supposed to look into it and see what’s going on. His assessment will decide whether the whole Solaris project should be continued or not. As soon as Kelvin arrives on the space stations, he finds his dead wife Hari (Natalya Bondarchuk) in his bed: apparently Solaris is trying to communicate with him through her.

Solaris is a very slow movie with a lot of seemingly unrelated sidenotes and little dialogue. This does not make for easy viewing and it will probably never become my favorite movie, but it was good to have seen it anyway. If only for Natalya Bondarchuk.

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Dr. Strangelove is a movie by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George, starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and James Earl Jones.

Plot:
Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) manages to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union all by himself. Since the American government headed by President Muffley (Peter Sellers) doesn’t actually want a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, they frantically try to abort the command.

I have to admit that I was barely conscious when I saw this film. I had been too much to the cinema and I was stressed and tired and I kept falling asleep during the movie – even though I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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Winter’s Bone (2010)

Winter’s Bone is Debra Granik‘s second movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser and Dale Dickey.

Plot:
Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is only a teenager, but she’s been taking care of her family – a psychotic mother and two little kids – ever since her father got arrested for drug dealing. When the sheriff (Garret Dillahunt) turns up to tell her that her father gave their house and land as security for his bail and disappeared, Ree can’t take the risk of losing everything. So she starts to look for her father. But it seems that nobody wants her to find him.

Winter’s Bone is an excellently cast, wonderfully shot and very atmospheric film. Despite being not that “actiony”, it’s a very tense film and one that will draw you in right away.

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