Una hermana [One Sister] (2016)

Una hermana
Director: Sofía BrockenshireVerena Kuri
Writer: Sofía Brockenshire, Verena Kuri
Cast: Sofia Palomino
Seen on: 5.9.2016

Plot:
Argentina, in the middle of nowhere. A young woman (Sofia Palomino) is looking for her sister who disappeared. She is determined to leave no stone unturned, no path and possibility unexamined to find her. But she seems to be getting nowhere with her search – all she achieves is becoming more and more lost herself.

Una hermana is a slow film that keeps turning in circles. Even if that was its intention, it made it hard to watch and often simply boring. While I could get into it for stretches at a time, it didn’t quite come together for me.

unahermana Continue reading

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Now You See Me 2
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Ed Solomon
Sequel to: Now You See Me
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman, Michael CaineSanaa Lathan, Jay Chou, Tsai Chin
Seen on: 5.9.2016

Plot:
After the last stunt they pulled, the Four Horsemen have to lie low. Danny (Jesse Eisenberg) is growing increasingly frustrated with the situation – he doesn’t want to hide anymore, while Dylan (Mark Ruffalo), working as a double agent at the FBI, does his best to keep them off the Horsemen’s real trail. But when Lula (Lizzy Caplan) shows up in Danny’s apartment with a whole lot of knowledge about the Horsemen, it seems that the time of hiding is over anyway. Danny calls together the remaining Horsemen – Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) to figure out a plan, only to realize that Lula wants to become one of them. So they start planning their heist, but things don’t go as planned.

While Now You See Me was an entertaining, if far from perfect, romp, Now You See Me 2 was simply a catastrophe. The best thing I can say about it is that it wasn’t entirely boring.

now_you_see_me_two Continue reading

Die Sonne war ein grünes Ei (H.C. Artmann)

Die Sonne war ein grünes Ei. Von der Erschaffung der Welt und ihren Dingen is a collection of fairy tales/myths by H.C. Artmann. The title literally means: The sun was a green egg. Of the creation of the world and its things.
Finished on 5.9.2016

Plot:
The creation of the world as you’ve never seen it before: Maybe the sun really is an egg. Maybe Coffee Mill and Paper Kite are responsible for the creation of living things. Or maybe it was a magician and false prophet. Or…

Artmann created some very fantastic (in the literal sense) and weird stories, but in some ways they are more of the same old, same old – especially with regards to sexism. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading the collection for the most part.

artmann_diesonnewareingruenesei Continue reading

What’s Your Number? (2011)

What’s Your Number?
Director: Mark Mylod
Writer: Gabrielle AllanJennifer Crittenden
Based on: Karyn Bosnak‘s novel
Cast: Anna FarisChris EvansAri GraynorBlythe DannerEd Begley Jr.Joel McHaleChris PrattZachary QuintoMartin FreemanAndy Samberg, Anthony MackieAziz Ansari
Seen on: 4.9.2016

Plot:
Ally (Anna Faris) has been dating for a while but so far she wasn’t very lucky. But then two things happen that makes her tackle the issue more aggressively: she gets fired from her job and needs to re-orient herself and she reads an article that says that women who sleep with more than 20 men usually don’t get married. After a quick count, Ally realizes that she slept with 19 men so far – and so she decides to look up all her old boyfriends to re-date them and not add to the list. To track all of them down, Ally gets help from her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) who in turn gets Ally’s help to get rid of the girls he brings home all the time.

What’s Your Number? does pretty much everything wrong that a RomCom could possibly do wrong (apart from getting Chris Evans naked a lot, that’s excellent), but at least Ally and Colin are surprisingly likeable. But when that’s the best thing you can say about a film, it’s probably clear that the film really doesn’t need to be seen.

whatsyournumber

[Slight SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur
Director: William Wyler
Writer: Karl Tunberg
Based on: Lew Wallace‘ novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Cast: Charlton HestonJack HawkinsHaya HarareetStephen BoydHugh GriffithMartha Scott, Cathy O’Donnell, Sam Jaffe
Seen on: 4.9.2016

Plot:
Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a successful merchant in Jerusalem, despite the Roman rule Jerusalem finds itself under. When he hears that his childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) returned to Jerusalem as head of the Roman garrison, he is overjoyed. But their happy reunion is soon overshadowed by the reality of their very different politics and social standing. After an unfortunate accident, Messala sends Judah to the galleys as punishment, and Judah’s mother Miriam (Martha Scott) and sister Tirzah (Cathy O’Donnell) to prison. Judah swears that he will return and take his revenge on Messala.

I went into Ben-Hur knowing very little about it, but I wanted to see it because a) classic and b) remake. “There are chariot chases and Romans,” was about the extent of it. So a few things took me very much by surprise – like the fact that this is a religious film. This is not the only reason but a contributing factor to my utter boredom during the film and my decision to not watch the remake because why would I put myself through that twice?

Continue reading

King of the Belgians (2016)

King of the Belgians
Director: Peter BrosensJessica Woodworth
Writer: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth
Cast: Peter Van den BeginLucie DebayTitus De VoogdtBruno GeorisGoran RadakovicPieter van der Houwen
Seen on: 3.9.2016

Plot:
King Nicolas III of Belgium (Peter Van den Begin) is on state visit in Turkey, together with his chief of protocol Ludovic Moreau (Bruno Georis), valet Carlos De Vos (Titus De Voogdt) press liaison Louise Vancraeyenest (Lucie Debay) and documentary filmmaker Duncan Lloyd (Pieter van der Houwen). The latter is supposed to chronicle the life and responsibilities of a King. But their visit turns sour when news reaches them that Wallonia seceded from Belgium. Nicolas knows he has to return home quickly, but due to cosmic storms and international protocol, he can neither communicate with home, nor leave officially. So instead he and his small band of faithfuls decide to travel home through the Balkans, incognito.

I liked the idea behind King of the Belgians and it starts off rather funny, but it never really gathered enough momentum to win me over entirely.

kingofthebelgians Continue reading

Home (2016)

Home
Director: Fien Troch
Writer: Nico Leunen, Fien Troch
Cast: Sebastian Van DunLena Suijkerbuijk, Mistral Guidotti, Loïc BellemansKarlijn SileghemRobbie CleirenEls Deceukelier
Seen on: 3.9.2016

Plot:
When Kevin (Sebastian Van Dun) is released from juvenile prison, his mother (Els Dottermans) finds that having him return into the old family situation really isn’t the best thing to do. So she asks her sister Sonja (Karlijn Sileghem) to take him instead. Sonja reluctantly agrees. They find work for Kevin with Sonja’s husband Willem (Robbie Cleiren) and Kevin finds social connections with Sonja’s son Sammy (Loïc Bellemans), his girlfriend Lina (Lena Suijkerbuijk) and his best friend John (Mistral Guidotti). But despite good intentions, things don’t really work out all that smoothly.

Home realistically portrays its protagonists and its story. That is sometimes very hard to bear, but most of the time, it’s worth to fight through it. I only found the ending a little disappointing.

home Continue reading

Hotel Rock’n’Roll (2016)

Hotel Rock’n’Roll
Director: Helmut Köpping, Michael Ostrowski
Writer: Michael Glawogger, Michael Ostrowski
Sequel to: Nacktschnecken, Contact High
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Pia Hierzegger, Gerald Votava, Georg Friedrich, Detlev Buck, Hilde Dalik, Johannes Zeiler, Jayney Klimek, Helmut Köpping
Seen on: 3.9.2016

Plot:
Mao (Pia Hierzegger) inherited an old hotel from her uncle and decides to run it together with her friends and band mates Max (Michael Ostrowski) and Jerry (Gerald Votava). They want to make it a hotel with a rock theme and lifestyle. Meanwhile Schorsch (Georg Friedrich) just happens to crash into the hotel pond after robbing a bank, which brings Schorsch’s business partner Harry (Detlev Buck) to the hotel. Since Harry owns a big hotel in the area, he would like nothing more than to take over the hotel from Mao, but she won’t give up that easily, despite everything.

Hotel Rock’n’Roll was entertaining and fun. Although it didn’t manage to blow me away, it definitely had its moments.

hotelrocknroll Continue reading

Wiener-Dog (2016)

Wiener-Dog
Director: Todd Solondz
Writer: Todd Solondz
Cast: Keaton Nigel Cooke, Tracy Letts, Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Zosia Mamet, Ari Graynor
Seen on: 2.9.2016

Plot:
Remi (Keaton Nigel Cooke) can’t believe his luck when his dad Danny (Tracy Letty) brings home a dog. Remi’s mother Dina (Julie Delpy) is less taken by Danny’s gift, fearing that she will be the one having to care for it. Pretty soon it becomes clear that it’s not going to work out for the dog in this family. And so begins a oddyssee for the little guy, from one weird owner to the next.

Wiener-Dog wasn’t great, but it was a decent film that was often very funny and sometimes a little too cruel. There are many things to like about it, but also a few things I didn’t like.

wiener-dog Continue reading

Jeder der fällt hat Flügel [Those Who Fall Have Wings] (2015)

Jeder der fällt hat Flügel [der should be two commas there but aren’t and it’s making me only a little bit nervous]
Director: Peter Brunner
Writer: Peter Brunner
Cast: Jana McKinnon, Pia Dolezal, Christos Haas, Renate Hild
Seen on: 2.9.2016

Plot:
Kati (Jana McKinnon) spends her summer with her grandmother (Renate Hild) and her little sister Pia (Pia Dolezal). There’s a vulnerability in the air. Kati has asthma and seems depressed, her parents are not in the picture, her grandmother’s death seems just around the corner. Kati tries to take everything on, but she’s only 15 years old and things are bound to overwhelm.

Jeder der fällt hat Flügel manages to create an interesting atmosphere with engaging imagery but I wasn’t really able to connect with the film. In fact, my reaction was mostly boredom and a certain annoyance at the artsy-fartsy symbolism of it all.

jeder_der_faellt_hat_fluegel Continue reading