Re-Watch: Batman (1989)

Batman
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
Gotham City is filled with corruption and basically run by crime boss Grissom (Jack Palance). But then a new figure enters the playing field, shifting the power dynamics quite substantially: Batman (Michael Keaton). Photographer Vicky Hale (Kim Basinger) is intrigued by the phenomenon and decides to find out who is behind the mask. Hoping to speak with Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle), she attends a charity eventy hosted by Bruce Wayne – not knowing that he is the man she is looking for. Meanwhile Grissom’s right-hand man Jack Napier (Jach Nicholson) is sent on a mission of his own – a mission that is about to change him very much.

It’s been many years that I watched the older Batman movies, and while I love them all, this one was probably the one I remembered least. Re-watching it with a bit of distance made it feel a little disappointing, although there are still many good things about it.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (1989)

Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation
Director: Eric Zala
Writer: Lawrence KasdanGeorge Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Remake of: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Cast: Chris Strompolos, Angela Rodriguez, Eric Zala, Ted Ross, Alan Stenum, William Coon, Kurt Zala, Clay LaGrone, Sam Cummings
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
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.

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Blue Steel (1989)

Blue Steel
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red
Cast: Jamie Lee CurtisRon SilverClancy BrownElizabeth PeñaLouise FletcherPhilip BoscoKevin DunnRichard Jenkins
Seen on: 7.8.2016

Plot:
Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) only just finished police school and she’s eager to work and to prove herself. On her first patrol, she becomes involved in a robbery, leading to her shooting the armed robber. One of the bystanders, Eugene (Ron Silver), grabs the robber’s gun, though, and leaves before he can be noticed. Since it now appears that Megan shot an unarmed man, she is suspended from work, only to be reinstated after a deadly bullet is recovered from a murder scene with her name carved onto it – and homicide detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown) counts on her help to catch the killer.

Blue Steel is a more than decent thriller with a fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis and a tense story. It pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

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Re-Watch: Valmont (1989)

Valmont
Director: Milos Forman
Writer: Jean-Claude Carrière, Milos Forman
Based on: Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel
Cast: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly, Fairuza Balk, Siân Phillips, Jeffrey Jones, Henry Thomas, Fabia Drake
Seen on: 1.2.2016

Plot:
The Victome de Valmont (Colin Firth) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Annette Bening) are thick as thieves, united in their love to manipulate and destroy the people around them, a skill they have so artfully mastered that their ploys don’t fall back on them. Both have a new project: Valmont is trying to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Meg Tilly) who is staying at his aunt’s (Fabia Drake) summer home and who is widely known for her morals and her loyalty to her husband. The Marquise, on the other hand, is looking for revenge on ex-lover Gercourt (Jeffrey Jones) who just got engaged to the naive Cécile (Fairuza Balk) who has spent practically her entire life in a convent. So she enlists Valmont’s help to completely corrupt Cécile.

Valmont is in many things much less faithful to the original novel than Dangerous Liaisons, but that doesn’t hurt the film one bit. It’s a fantastic, enjoyable film with a great cast.

valmont

[SPOILERS]

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Die toten Fische [Mortal Fortune] (1989)

Die toten Fische
Director: Michael Synek
Writer: Michael Synek
Based on: Boris Vian‘s short story Les poissons morts
Cast: Erwin LederJohannes WeidingerGerhard Swoboda, Joe Berger, Lisa Luginbuhl, Martin Schellnast
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 29.10.2015

Plot:
A worker (Erwin Leder) slowly moves through a swamp. He’s fishing, trying to catch the best stamps to bring home to his boss who collects them. After a long and arduous day, he tiredly returns to the city where things become even more surreal and it becomes ever more apparent how much pressure the worker is under – from ticket controllers to his own employer, everybody seems to have it out for him.

Die toten Fische is a beautiful film with a fascinating history so far. Even though it was followed by one of the worst Q&As I ever witnessed, I left the cinema feeling like I saw something special.

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Re-Watch: The ‘Burbs (1989)

The ‘Burbs
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Dana Olsen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
A typical suburban cul-de-sac is disrupted when a new family moves in. A mysterious family that seems to be only awake at night, making loud noises then, a family that doesn’t take care of its lawn or sticks to any of the usual suburban behavior. Their direct neighbor Ray (Tom Hanks) just got some time off. Time he spends starting to obsess about them and trying to find out more, egged on by the other inhabitants on the street.

I don’t know how many times I saw this film when I was a child. It was my brother’s favorite film for a while and he did a perfect impression of the “sardines” scene and to this day I can’t look at Tom Hanks without thinking of my brother a bit. So seeing this film for the first time in probably a decade, for the first time in English and without my brother present just wasn’t quite the same thing. It was still very entertaining though.

theburbs

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Dni zatmeniya [Days of Eclipse] (1989)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Dni zatmeniya is Aleksandr Sokurov‘s loose adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky‘s novel Definitely Maybe, starring Aleksei Ananishnov, Eskender Umarov and Vladimir Zamansky.

Plot:
A small town in Soviet Turkmenistan: the young, promising doctor Malyanov (Aleksei Ananishnov) is writing on a paper about juvenile hypertension and its correlation to old believers. [Or something like it.] But strange things start happening around him. He receives a crab from someone, his neighbor Snegovoy (Vladimir Zamansky) is killed, but when he visits him in the morgue, they have a talk and his best friend Vecherovsky (Eskender Umarov) is behaving weirdly, too.

Oh boy. This movie really doesn’t make a lick of sense. I probably would have walked out of it if I hadn’t promised to meet friends afterwards. It’s just one giant sequence of What the Fuck.

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