Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner [Final Cut]
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong
Seen on: 24.04.2015

Humanity has managed to create replicants: genetically engineered robots. But after an uprising of the replicants, they have been outlawed on earth and have been banned to the off-world colonies. But when four replicants manage to escape back to earth, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called on in his capacity as blade runner – a special police force tasked with hunting down replicants – to take them down. Although Deckard didn’t want to take on any more jobs, he agrees to do this last job. He starts his investigation at the company who builds the replicants, where he discovers Rachael (Sean Young), a new version of replicant that doesn’t know that they aren’t human.

Blade Runner was one of those classic films that I never saw until now – and now I’m afraid that I’m too late. In any case I was not particularly taken with the film. In fact, I thought it was rather boring, if very pretty.


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Sizarr (Support: Vin Blanc/White Wine)

Sizarr are a German band who came to the Arena for a concert. They were supported by Vin Blanc/White Wine.
Seen on: 22.04.2015

I didn’t know Vin Blanc/White Wine before that concert and I have to admit that the concert really didn’t blow me away, either. There was just a weird energy in the room and barely any energy at all on stage.

Listening to them on youtube a bit, I like them better than live, but I don’t think that I’ll be spending much time listening to them any further.

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Persuasion (Jane Austen)

Persuasion is the last finished novel by Jane Austen (and the last I hadn’t yet read*).
Finished on: 21.04.2015
[Here are my other Austen reviews (and assorted).]

Many years ago, Anne Elliot was engaged to Frederick Wentworth, but took the advice of her motherly friend Lady Russell, as well as listened to the opinions of her father Sir Walter and her sister Elizabeth and dissolved the engagement since Wentworth didn’t have much standing. Quite by coincidence Frederick is back in her life after years in the Navy and has made a name for himself as well as a fortune. Anne is convinced, though, that he will never forgive her for her past actions. And when her cousin William Elliot starts courting her, she might be getting another chance, despite being alread 27 years old and still unmarried.

I really enjoyed Persuasion, even though it means that there are no new Austen novels for me anymore. But that just means that I’ll have to re-read everything. In any case, Persuasion shines with vibrant characters and a sweet story.

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The Hard Problem

The Hard Problem
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Cast: Olivia Vinall, Damien Molony, Anthony Calf, Eloise Webb, Daisy Jacob, Parth Thakerar, Vera Chok, Rosie Hilal, Lucy Robinson, Jonathan Coy, Kristin Atherton
Seen on: 16.04.2015

Psychology student Hilary (Olivia Vinall) is working on her thesis with her tutor Spike (Damien Molony). Hilary is convinced that there is something more to life than science and materialism, that there is something godly, whereas Spike is an absolutely materialistic and completely atheistic. But Hilary’s view helps her to secure a job at the renouned Krohl Institute for Brain Science when she answers the Hard Problem – whether consciousness can be completely explained by science – with no. There is a reason for Hilary’s insistence on something bigger than science, one that makes her pray every night for a miracle.

The Hard Problem is a brainy, well-acted and well-directed play that ends up a little too much on the sentimental side but is otherwise extremely enjoyable.

NTLive_TheHardProblem_DigitalA5Portrait_031014.indd[SPOILERS] Continue reading

Cake (2014)

Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Patrick Tobin
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch, Britt Robertson
Seen on: 15.04.2015

After an accident Claire (Jennifer Aniston) is in chronic pain, bitter and lonely. Her only points of social contact are her housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barraza) and her chronic pain self-help group. But after one of its members, Nina (Anna Kendrick), committed suicide and Claire had a bit of a meltdown, the group has asked her to leave. Instead Claire pays a visit to Nina’s widower Roy (Sam Worthington). They both start leaning on each other for their recovery, even if that’s a very slow-going process.

Cake was an excellent film. Great performances, smart script, interesting topic handled seriously but also with a sense of humor, all tied together in a neat little package.

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Ma folie (2015)

Ma folie [literally translates to My Madness, there is no official English title as far as I know]
Director: Andrina Mracnikar
Writer: Andrina Mracnikar
Cast: Alice DwyerSabin TambreaOliver RosskopfGerti DrasslAnna Rot

Hanna (Alice Dwyer) is on holidays in France when she meets Yann (Sabin Tambrea) shortly before she has to leave. They spend a passionate weekend together, then Hanna returns to Vienna, where she regularly receives video messages from Yann, much to the dismay of her ex-boyfriend Goran (Oliver Rosskopf). Soon Yann comes to Vienna in person and reveals that he has quit his job and will stay as long as Hanna wants him to. Hanna is at first a little taken aback, but then she’s overjoyed. But Yann is not only intense, he’s also rather insecure and their relationship doesn’t stay easy.

Ma folie tries a little too hard to be clever, but otherwise it’s not a bad debut, even if it didn’t blow me away.

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Superwelt (2015)

Director: Karl Markovics
Writer: Karl Markovics
Cast: Ulrike BeimpoldRainer Wöss, Nikolai GemelAngelika Strahser, Thomas Mraz
Seen on: 14.4.2015

Gabi (Ulrike Beimpold) is a supermarket cashier, stuck in her routine. Her kids Ronnie and Sabine (Nikolai Gemel, Angelika Strahser) are grown, her husband Hannes (Rainer Wöss) is distant. She spends most of her spare time trying to lose weight. But all that changes when Gabi starts hearing voices. At first she fights for her routine, but she is soon overpowered by the cacophony of questions and demands in her head. Is she going crazy? Or has she actually been chosen by god?

Superwelt was a fascinating, touching and engaging film, further cementing Markovics skill as a director (I mean, he is a really good actor, but I wouldn’t mind if he would start directing movies full time) and Beimpold’s everything.

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Spätes Tagebuch [Late Diary] (Erika Pluhar)

Spätes Tagebuch [translates to Late Diary] is a novel by Erika Pluhar.
Finished on: 14.4.2015

Paulina Neblo used to be a dancer, but has retired long ago. Now 70 years old, she decides that she will start to write a diary, at first to keep the memories (of her dead husband, of her dead daughter) and the loneliness of her everyday life (only interrupted by her housekeeper Hortensia) at bay. But as she writes, not only do her memories keep encroaching, suddenly her lonesome routine gets severely disrupted – her former student and friend Florinda drags her shaky marriage with Vincent and Vincent himself into Paulina’s life; and a lover of old, Maxime, pops up in Paulina’s life again. Bit by bit Paulina realizes that she might not be quite as done with life and herself as she thought.

Spätes Tagebuch is not completely cliché free and it’s sometimes a little too close to kitsch, but it’s not bad at all: it’s a quick, enjoyable read.

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ELVIS – The Musical

ELVIS – The Musical
Cast/Band: Grahame Patrick, Alexander Gregor, The Stamps Quartet,
Seen on 12.4.2015

ELVIS – The Musical takes us on a small tour through Elvis Presley‘s (Grahame Patrick) life and his music, accompanied by original photo and video footage.

ELVIS – The Musical was a great tribute concert, but an abysmal musical. Why they felt the need at all to turn it into a musical, I will never understand. But if you ignore that part and instead just enjoy the music (which is the main reason I want to watch a show like this anyway), you’ll have a wonderful evening.

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Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne JohnsonJason Statham, Jordana BrewsterMichelle Rodriguez, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, (Luke Evans, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang)
Seen on: 11.4.2015

After Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of their team/family brought the criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) down, and brought him down so hard that he’s still in a coma, Shaw’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) has sworn revenge. He starts in Tokyo, but he’s soon right in Dom’s and Brian’s lives – including their families. So Dom and Brian – who thought that they could finally settle down with Letty (Gina Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) respectively – find themselves less retired than expected. But Shaw is not the only trouble, there’s also Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who orders them to help with a new surveillance software that could do much harm in the wrong hands – which is just where it risks ending up.

I watched all seven Fast & Furious movies in less than 24 hours (which was kinda awesome, but also kinda insane and not to be done sober*), so Furious 7 really had to be fantastic to still make me pay attention. But no worries, it did and with apparent ease.

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