Plot: Jack (Bradley Cooper) has seen his heyday as a musician and has made his home in a slump, saturated with a lot of alcohol. That’s when he meets Ally (Lady Gaga), talented, but unknown musician. Almost convinced that she has to give up on her dreams, Ally is convinced that she is not a singer, not made for the spotlight, but rather that she is a songwriter. But Jack gives her the leg up she needs to start her career as they fall in love with each other. But as Ally’s star rises, Jack’s keeps falling.
I admit, I was doubtful regarding A Star Is Born and whether I should see it at all. But then the critics kept falling over themselves with praise and I thought, I’d give it the benefit of the doubt. Having seen it, I am not convinced that I should have let myself be swayed. I mean, I have definitely seen worse films but that doesn’t mean it’s all that good either.
“Plot”: Kurt Waldheim was president of Austria from 1986 to 1992, after being the Secretary General of the UN. During his election campaign, it was revealed that he was an intelligence officer in the Wehrmacht and he was implicated in Nazi mass killings – a fact that did not keep him from getting elected, despite many discussions about it. Beckermann was involved in the protests against Waldheim at the time and filmed a lot of material – material she thought lost, but found again and now uses to look back at how things unfolded.
Waldheims Walzer is an excellent documentary. It’s informative, concise and brings home the flabbergasting outrageousness of it all, proving yet again how little Austria has done to reckon with its own past.
Plot: Peter (Friedrich Mücke) and Doris Strelzyk (Karoline Schuch) live in the GDR with their family, as do Günter (David Kross) and Petra Wenzel (Alicia von Rittberg). They would all like to leave the GDR, but exit is severely limited and they don’t have the right connections to get an exit visa. When they have the idea to fly across the border to West Germany in a home-made hot air balloon, they start the work. But their activities are noted by Seidel (Thomas Kretschmann) whose job it is to hunt down people who try to flee. And he is very good at it.
Ballon is an exciting, tense film that makes the repression in the GDR very tangible. I was surprised to get a film like this from Herbig who I only know as a comedy director – but it was in no way a bad surprise.
Plot: Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a journalist and he loves to dig deep. When he gets the chance to interview Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) who runs a huge tech company, he can’t resist asking some hard questions. But that choice leads for his entire life to explode around him – he loses his job and his girlfriend Anne (Michelle Williams). A year later, he is still reeling – and still obsessed with Drake. So when he gets a chance to take another dig at him, he does – and that brings him in touch with one of Drake’s projects: Venom, an alien who hitches a ride in his body.
Venom was a lot more fun than I expected. It’s not necessarily a good film, but it is definitely entertaining and very enjoyable.
Plot: Toby (Adam Driver) is a director who is trying to shoot Don Quixote in the Spanish countryside. He actually attempted this before when he was a film student – and when he stumbles upon a copy of the film he made back then. He is inspired to track down the two key actors of the film, the shoemaker who played Don Quixote (Jonathan Pryce) as well as his Dulcinea, played by Angelica (Joana Ribeiro). But when he discovers that the shoemaker is still convinced that he really is Don Quixote and that Toby is Sancho Panza, Toby is roped into quite an adventure.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was 25 years in the making and Gilliam fought hard to have it made. Having seen it now, I wonder whether it was worth the fight. It has its moments, but those really aren’t enough to make the film work.
Plot: After the suicide of a nun there, Father Burke (Demián Bichir), an exorcist weighed down by his past, is sent to Romania to investigate her suicide and to figure out if something more is going on. By his side is the novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who had visions that might relate to the incident. As they arrive at the convent in the middle of nowhere, they find that there is more to the suicide and to the convent itself than they had anticipated.
As a fan of the Insidious and Conjuring movies, I wanted to see The Nun, but I have to admit that it can’t quite keep up with this films. It’s an okay horror film, but I just expected a little more.
Artefacts and Other Stories is a short story collection by Rebecca Burns. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 3.10.2018
Artefacts and Other Stories is a decent short story collection. It’s not amazing, but there are some good stories in there. The collection could have profited from a little more variation between stories and a little more narrative within the stories. But mostly, it’s okay.
Read more about each of the stories after the jump.
Der Besuch der alten Dame Director: Frank Hoffmann Writer: Friedrich Dürrenmatt Cast: Maria Happel, Rolf Mautz, Hans Dieter Knebel, Burghart Klaußner, Petra Morzé, Roland Koch, Dietmar König, Daniel Jesch, Marcus Kiepe, Michael Abendroth, Harald Retschitzegger, Franz Schöffthaler, Peter Nitsche Seen on: 1.10.2018
Plot: Claire Zachanassian (Maria Happel) returns to her hometown of Güllen for the first time in decades. She had to leave the town in shame, betrayed by her lover. But she rose from the ashes, married rich and now she has a plan to get revenge on everybody who ever wronged her – especially her ex.
Der Besuch der alten Dame seems to be a good play, but this production of it really didn’t work. They managed to have a comedy where I could see the funny bits and yet I never laughed. That’s really a problem.
Indecision is a novel by Caragh Bell. It’s the first in the Follow Your Heart series. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 30.9.2018
Plot: Lydia loves her boyfriend Dominic with whom she’s been quite a long time already. When she moves away to do a Master’s degree, the separation isn’t easy to take. Plus, there’s Luca right there beside her: gorgeous, flirty, American, he is as intriguing to her as he is off-limits. But the effect he has on her makes her start to question her life’s decisions so far.
Indecision, unfortunately, didn’t work for me. It was badly written and full of unlikable and/or clichéd characters. I found it an exhausting read.
Plot: Police officer Buron (Benoît Poelvoorde) has a murder to solve. And his witness Louis Fugain (Grégoire Ludig) has a story to tell. But as the officer tries to trip up Fugain, believing him to be a suspect in the death, Fugain starts to fumble in his account and the interview situation becomes ever stranger and more tense.
Au Poste! may be a little subdued compared to Dupieux’s earlier films, but that didn’t take away from its entertainment factor at all. It’s a beautiful exercise in absurdity.