Swan Lake Reloaded

Swan Lake Reloaded is the newest dance show by Fredrik Rydman. [He also did Bounce: Insane in the Brain.] It’s a combination of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake with modern street dance.

Based on the classic Swan Lake, the show give the old tale a new spin: A young prince who has grown tired with his partying lifestyle falls in love with a whore who is being controlled by her pimp through drugs.

Swan Lake Reloaded is a really cool show. The music is awesome, the dancing is pretty great and I thouhgt it was an interesting take on the story.


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Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
Based on: Isaac Marion‘s novel
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich

The zombie apocalypse has happened. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who can’t remember much – not even his entire name – and spends most of his time shuffling around an empty airport. But all of that changes when he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) during a hunt. Julie is one of the few survivors. And while R munches on Julie’s boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco), he falls in love with her. He brings her home and Julie slowly realizes that maybe not all zombies are the monsters she thought they were. And their connection sparks a new development that is much bigger than the two of them.

Warm Bodies is great. It’s sweet, very well made and extremely funny. I expected much from it beforehand and I got it all.


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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Pihla Viitala, Thomas Mann, Joanna Kulig, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have been witch hunters ever since they were imprisoned by a witch, when they were kids, but were able to free themselves by killing her. Hansel and Gretel come to Augsburg, where a lot of children have gone missing, suggesting that a lot of witch activity is going on in the area. But when they start to hunt them down, they stumble upon an even bigger event than they anticipated.

Hansel & Gretel has SO MANY ISSUES. It is one of the most stupid, absurd films I have ever seen. It is at the same time offensive to human beings as a whole, and hilarious as hell.


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Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Joseph Stefano, Alma Reville
Based on: Robert Bloch‘s novel
Cast: Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Patricia Hitchcock

Marion (Janet Leigh) works at a small company. When she gets her hands on a lot of money in cash for a business transaction, she decides on a whim to steal it and sets off to get her boyfriend Sam (John Gavin) and start a new life. On her way there, she stops at Bates Motel, though. There the young and a little weird owner Norman (Anthony Perkins), who lives alone with his psychotic mother, gives her a room. But when Marion takes a shower in said room, things end deadly for her.

[I should have seen Psycho ages ago, but better late than never, right?]
Psycho is brilliant. Tense and wonderfully acted and (contrary to many other movie classics who are wrongly called great) really delivers everything its reputation promises.


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The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps is a theater adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie. There was a production of it in the Theater Center Forum.
Director: Marcus Strahl
Writer: Patrick Barlow
Based on: Alfred Hitchcock‘s movie, written by Charles Bennett and Ian Hay and which was in turn based on John Buchan‘s novel
Cast: Paul König, Leila Strahl, Martin Gesslbauer, Natascha Shalaby

Richard Hannay (Paul König) is frustrated and depressed with his life. But then he meets a mysterious woman (Leila Strahl) at a theater who is obviously in some kind of trouble and who invites herself back to his place. Before Richard can really wrap his head around the goings-on, the woman is stabbed in his apartment, drops a mysterious hint and Richard finds himself on the way to Scotland, trying to figure out what exactly the 39 Steps are.

I was lucky enough to get free tickets for two different things in one week. I would have gladly spent money on the ballet thing. For this play, I was really happy that I didn’t have to.


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Tanzperspektiven (Dance Perspectives)

Tanzperspektiven is a current contemporary ballet production at the Vienna Opera where they show four half-hour pieces choreographed by four different people.

A Million Kisses to my Skin (music by Johann Sebastian Bach, choreography by David Dawson)
Dancers: Olga Esina, Vladimir Shishov, Nina Poláková, Denys Cherevychko, Liudmila Konovalova, Davide Dato, Maria Yakovleva, Natalie Kusch, Kiyoka Hashimoto

Eventide (music by Jan Garbarek, Philip Glass, choreography by Helen Pickett)
Dancers: Rafaella Sant’Anna, Ketevan Papava, Nina Poláková, Irina Tsymbal, Robert Gabdullin, Roman Lazik, András Lukács, Eno Peci

Vers un Pays Sage (music by John Adams, choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot)
Dancers: Olga Esina, Irina Tsymbal, Ketevan Papava, Roman Lazik,Denys Cherevychko, Andrey Kaydanovskiy

Windspiele (music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Patrick de Bana)
Dancers: Masayu Kimoto, Erika Kovácová, Rafaella Sant’Anna, Zsolt Török, Attila Bakó, Marian Furnica, Tristan Ridel, Géraud Wielick

I got a free ticket for this show which was pretty cool. (Free tickets usually are, especially if it’s for stuff I actually like, like dancing.) Unfortunately, it was for a seat with limited view and I saw only half the stage (at best). But the half of the show I saw was really amazing.


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The Master (2012)

The Master
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons, Ambyr Childers, Rami Malek, Joshua Close, Laura Dern

Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) has returned from serving in the navy in WW2, but the war has left him in pieces. Now he drifts from job to job, fueled by home-brewed alcohol. By chance he stumbles upon Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a self-made and rather successful cult leader of The Cause. Dodd, or Master as he is also called, and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams) take Freddie in, hoping to cure him and Freddie falls head first into The Cause.

The Master is an intriguing piece of cinema. It’s unusual in the way it tells its story and perfectly acted, even if it does run a tad too long. But to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to do with it.


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Die Tür [The Door] (2009)

Die Tür
Director: Anno Saul
Writer: Jan Berger
Based on: Akif Pirinçci‘s novel Die Damalstür (translated to The Back Door)
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Jesscia Schwarz, Valeria Eisenbart, Tim Seyfi, Thomas Thieme, Heike Makatsch

David (Mads Mikkelsen) is a successful painter, has a lovely wife in Maja (Jessica Schwarz) and a cute daughter in Leonie (Valeria Eisenbart). But while Leonie is playing in the garden and Maja is out, he prefers to go and fuck the neighbor Gia (Heike Makatsch). When David returns from the most of recent of these, he finds Leonie in the pool – drowned. Five years later, his life is pretty much destroyed, Maja won’t speak to him and he’s constantly drunk. Then he stumbles on a door and when he walks through it, he finds himself back on the day the Leonie drowned – and with a chance to do things over. If only it wasn’t for his younger self…

Die Tür starts off pretty Butterfly Effect-y (including actual butterflies) and I was pretty convinced that it would go the same way. But the film does go in a completely different direction and is rather entertaining.


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City of Ashes (Cassandra Clare)

City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. [Here’s my review of the first book.]

Plot [with Spoilers for City of Bones]:
After the events of City of Bones, Clary’s life has fundamentally changed. Her mom is in a coma, she’s living with Luke, her mom’s best friend who turned out to be a werewolf, her feelings for Jace remain unchanged by the fact that she’s his sister, while she tries to make it work as a kinda-couple with her best friend Simon. And to make things worse, Valentine is still out and about, killing left and right, Jace is under suspicion of spying for him and is locked up and investigated and things just generally don’t look too well.

While there is much I didn’t like about City of Ashes (this series generally probably won’t ever be my favorite), I’m still enjoying it a lot and I’m still engaged in the story. And I already started reading book three, so there’s that, too.

city of ashes

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A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

A Good Day to Die Hard
Director: John Moore
Writer: Skip Woods
Sequel to: Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir, Radivoje BukvicMary Elizabeth Winstead and about three delicious seconds of Aldis Hodge

John McClane (Bruce Willis) hasn’t heard from his son Jack (Jai Courtney) in years, and he now finds out that Jack has been arrested for murder in Russia. So John flies to Moscow to help, if possible. But as he arrives at the courthouse, a bomb explodes and Jack makes a run for it, together with political prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch). Turns out that there is more to the story than a delinquent son and John finds himself in the middle of it.

Oh boy. I think the most positive thing I can say about this movie that it’s at least not as racist and misogynistic as Live Free or Die Hard. But everything else… No. Just no. There is really nothing redeeming about it.


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