Raiders! chronicles the making-of of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation and how all of them come together once again to finish the last scene they simply weren’t able to recreate in the 80s.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a lovely documentary, engaging, informative and made with a lot of respect. I think I liked it better than both the original and the fan film themselves.
Indiana Jones (Chris Strompolos) is a professor of archaeology, but one who likes to get his hands dirty every once in a while and go on proper adventures. When the US government approaches him to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it, it seems the perfect moment for another one of those adventures. To find it, Indy has to first his ex Marion Ravenwood (Angela Rodriguez) who inherited an important clue as to its location. But Indy isn’t the only one who knows about that.
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation is a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, a fan film made with even more determination than most other fan art. It took years to complete and was started when all of the participants were still kids. It’s a monument to pop culture and its power; a beautiful labor of love.
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is a professor of archaeology, but one who likes to get his hands dirty every once in a while and go on proper adventures. When the US government approaches him to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it, it seems the perfect moment for another one of those adventures. To find it, Indy has to first his ex Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) who inherited an important clue as to its location. But Indy isn’t the only one who knows about that.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is an entertainment classic for a reason: a joyful, spirited adventure story that comes with sexism and racism as is to be expected for a story of its time, though that doesn’t make it any more fortunate. Despite that, I managed to enjoy a lot of it.
There’s a monster closing in on Japan and nobody knows what to do about it or how to confront it. Nobody, that is, but Totaro Saigo (Ryû Manatsu), whose research was disgraced many years ago. But with the help of his daughter Miwa (Miki Kawanishi) and research assistant Hideo Nitto (Shûsuke Saitô) he kept working – and now it’s his moment to shine. He injects Hideo with Cell-X, a special serum that not only makes him the size of the monster, but also gives him superstrength and the body to match. Because sometimes the best way to take down a monster is in hand-to-hand combat.
Kaiju Mono is, unfortunately, too little idea for too much film. As a short, it would have worked perfectly. As a feature-length film it started to drag and was bolstered with misogyny.
Students Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) and Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) find an old VCR in a thrift store. Since they’re trying to copy a VHS to DVD, they happily take it home, only to find a weird video tape inside. Natsumi watches it, but then they both find out that it’s cursed. So they contact Morishige (Masahiro Kômoto), a professor on Urban Legends. He’s excited, as he’s sure that it’s the tape that conjures Sadako. But things spiral out of control and the only way to manage Sadako is to try and cancel out her powers by pitting her against another vengeful spirit: Kayako.
I thought that Sadako vs. Kayako would be a fun schlockfest, but it was mostly exhausting and doesn’t deliver on its own premise. It’s basically two remakes rolled into one and both are very much inferior to the originals.
The Millers – Aaron (Jeremy Sisto), Beth (Kate Ashfield), Marley (Ryan Simpkins) and Max (Ty Simpkins) – return from their holidays and find their house broken into and left in a mess. They call the police and despite the trepidation such a break-in causes, they settle back into their routine, hoping that the culprit will soon be caught. But there seems to be no sign of him. Little do they know that he might be much closer than they could ever suspect.
Hangman was an absolutely creepy film that completely worked for me despite some clichéd bits and a couple of lengths.
Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is busy with work and he doesn’t really have time for his daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim). After he gets her the wrong birthday present, she wants to go home to her mother who is divorced from Seok-Woo and lives in Busan. Seok-Woo is less than happy about that idea, but finally gives in and boards the train from Seoul to Busan with Soo-an the next day. But even as they make their way to the train station, something seems to be off. It’s only after the train has left, though, and the passengers find themselves trapped with zombies, that they realize how off things really are.
Train to Busan is one hell of a (zombie) film: emotional, funny and scary, it really works on pretty much every level while being absolutely entertaining.
When Romochka is four years old, he finds himself all alone and hungry, his mother doesn’t seem to be coming back to him. As he wanders through the streets of Moscow, he sees a dog and starts to follow it. The dog leads him home to its den where it lives with its puppies and their pack. It soon transforms into a second mother for Romochka, and Romochka himself transforms as well as he adapts to his life as a dog.
Dog Boy captures realistically how a child growing up with a wild pack of dogs could play out and packages that into an intriguing story with a strong first half and a weaker second half.
Steve (Laurie Calvert) and Josh (Oscar Dyekjær Giese) are snowboarders who are shooting a video in the alps. It’s supposed to be daring and fun but things go awry and the two of them, plus their PR manager and Steve’s now ex Branka (Gabriela Marcinková) find themselves stranded in the ski resort on top of the mountain in a hut that’s preparing to party all night. What seems like simply a bad evening turns into a really bad night when the hut is being swarmed by zombies.
Since I loved Hartl’s short films, my expectations for Angriff der Lederhosenzombies were pretty high. The movie couldn’t quite match those expectations, even though it’s really entertaining.
Psychoanalyst and philosopher Lou Andreas-Salomé (Nicole Heesters) has lived an interesting life and now that she is getting older, she is ready to tell her life story. Watched by her maid Mariechen (Katharina Schüttler), young writer Ernst Pfeiffer (Matthias Lier) comes to her house to write her biography: when Lou was younger (Katharina Lorenz), she fell in love with philosophy and psychoanalysis, while men around her kept falling in love with her – men like Friedrich Nietzsche (Alexander Scheer), Paul Rée (Philipp Hauß) or Rainer Maria Rilke (Julius Feldmeier). But all Lou wanted was to live life on her own terms.
Lou Andreas-Salomé is an excellently acted and beautifully filmed biopic with an interesting structure about a fascinating woman. But unfortunately it attempts too much and too little at the same time to make it well-rounded.